United States Falls Behind in Worldwide iPhone 12 5G Speeds

In the worldwide race to 5G, the United States has fallen behind many of the major tech hubs, with 5G download speeds limping behind the competition. In our own testing, we found that 5G has not even fully surpassed existing 4G LTE infrastructure, and that Verizon customers may even be better off turning 5G off for now. Thanks to the launch of Apple’s iPhone 12 line, we have even more data to show how the US compares.

According to data pulled by Ookla Speedtest, 5G data for iPhone 12 devices across 15 cities worldwide showed that New York City ranked 14th overall in download speeds. NYC’s 97.33Mbps ranked only ahead of of Singapore’s 93.62Mbps. Meanwhile, Seoul ranked first by a wide margin of 472.28Mbps, followed by Dubai, Riyadh, Sydeny, and Helsinki to round out the top five.

To the US’s credit, New York City’s 27.47Mbps in upload speed did outrank six other major cities globally: Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid, London, Singapore, and Rome. But that offers little consolation when compared to what these other countries have been able to do with their 5G infrastructure.

For instance, Seoul was able to outpace the competition thanks to the 100,000 5G base stations installed around the country. European nations were also found to be close to the same media download and upload speeds, showing just how stable 5G infrastructure has become overseas.

Much of the reason behind these results is that many other countries have dedicated mid-band allocations, while the US is still in the process of allocating the necessary airwaves for nationwide coverage. While high-range mmWave 5G will help improve speeds in specific situations, only dedicated mid-range coverage will ensure consistent quality.

Disclosure: Ookla is owned by PCMag parent company, Ziff Davis.

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