We recently published a report onto the state of global LTE, which compared the performance of mobile networks using two chief metrics: ‘time on’ LTE and average download speed. One of the things we looked at was how LTE download speed performs in comparison to other kinds of wireless technology, which puts LTE performance in context with 3G, and 2G technologies worldwide, as well as average Wi-Fi speeds globally.
Of course, download speed does not tell the whole story for mobile network performance – but, because it is the headline stat that networks advertise, it is the one we decided to use as best representative of network performance. For mobile users, download speed, upload speed and latency are all important, with their relative importance determined by the specific use a subscriber puts the network to.
One of the graphs we put together for the LTE report was to compare the average latencies globally across various technologies. Owing to a lack of space, and the fact that we were focussing on download speed, it didn’t make it in. This graph shows comparative latency performance for the second of 2013, allowing for an easy overview of how the technologies differ – and, especially, the superiority of LTE for mobile users.
Latency is especially important for VOIP and loading web pages, where the response time is especially important and overall download speed has less of an impact. So our data shows that LTE is a better bet for those VOIP calls than the average Wi-Fi network. To see how LTE latencies compare for the biggest US Networks, see our recent report with Fierce Wireless.