Smartphone owners in Singapore are enjoying faster 5G than WiFi. The report comes from Opensignal that Asia’s ICT-rich nation has faster 5G speeds than what they are getting on WiFi networks.
5G didn’t come at first in Asia though. The country’s largest carrier provider Singtel began its 5G trails in September 2020 when the pandemic limited our outdoor lives. Like every one of us, Singaporeans spent their internet times indoors over fiber broadband than on mobile networks. However, the country’s cellular broadband capacity seems to outspeed what they are getting via WiFi system.
As per Opensignal’s recent stats, 5G network from Singapore clocked at an average of 179.6 Mbps. Meanwhile, the county’s average WiFi speed was recorded at 120.9 Mbps. This is an increase by a massive 48.6 percent owing to the 5G network.
Compared to the previous month, Singtel’s download speed increased by 8 Mbps. The same was for the competing operator StarHub. 5G is strengthening its presence across the state. Another carrier provider TPG began its 5G non-standalone access back in September in 2.3 GHz that will run till the end of 2021. The operator will also roll out mmWave 5G soon.
5G Closing in on Fixed Broadband
Now, the highly ICT-friendly country can gradually rely on their 5G networks from their carriers for faster digital lives. But 5G is not just about speed though. It brings lower latency than its predecessors which is key to online streaming, cloud services, gaming, and other activities that require an instant server response. The issue with latency might persist with 4G but the improvement comes natively over 5G due to its high frequency.
In its Games Experience, Opensignal analyzes the gaming experience of users on WiFi, 5G, 4G, and other legacy networks by measuring the determinants such as latency, packet loss, and jitter. The networks are ranked on a scale of 0 – 100.
In these tests, WiFi grabbed the top spot with 88.7 scores, but 5G closely followed with the score of 88.3. Both were declared “Excellent” by the research platform.
Meanwhile, the 4G fell short of the Good range with 81.3 scores. 3G couldn’t even make it to the “Fair” range and sank to “Poor” with a dismal 63.4 points.
5G Can Replace Fiber Broadband
“This new Opensignal analysis shows the arrival of 5G means that cellular connections are no longer always inferior to WiFi. Average 5G download speeds are faster than WiFi and 5G gaming is on par with that on WiFi.“
It also says, “WiFi will continue to have an important role — especially when backing up files and downloading large apps due to the low cost of data it provides compared to many mobile plans. Also, 5G services need to expand considerably as our Singaporean 5G users spent only 9.7% of their time connected to 5G in the 90 days ending on 29 October.”
Singapore though is not among the highest performing country in the 5G network. In Opensingal’s global 5G experience from November, it didn’t make it in the top 15.
The analytic platform says 5G could bring in a better user experience on mobile networks than WiFi but believes WiFi’s new standards WiFi 6/7 and 5G SA could both coexist to deliver similar performances in the future.
Do read: Wifi 7 features and highlights
With 5G gaining momentum across the globe, it could stir pose a threat to the fiber broadband of households. With more improvements, 5G is certain to deliver ultra-high-speed broadband with negligent latency that will transform our digital lives. But it will come down to convenience and the subjective choice of the consumers.
By the way, if both fixed broadband and cellular 5G delivered the same performance, which would be your bet? Do share why you would prefer one over the other in the comments below.