Manila has lowest 4G availability in East Asia, says report

A report from OpenSignal, a company that specializes in wireless coverage mapping, has shown that Manila has the lowest percentage of 4G availability in East Asia.

The survey looked at the 4G availability of mobile users in the big economic centers in the region. A total the 12 cities were analyzed from a 90-day test period between March and May.

Seoul topped the table with a remarkable 4G availability score of 97.9%. OpenSignal said this came as little surprise as not only did the city came out on top in its analysis of 4G speeds in East Asia cities, but South Korea was the leading country for LTE reach in its most recent global State of LTE report.

In that same report, the second place in the global 4G availability ranking was held by Japan – and its capital Tokyo took the second spot in its analysis of East Asia cities. The city was close behind the leader Seoul with a 4G availability score of 96.3%, and the two leaders were some way ahead of the next city in our measurements.

Third place went to Bangkok which scored 92.1% in its 4G availability metric, followed by Hong Kong which just tipped the 90% milestone.

Of the other cities measured, five were in the 80%-90% range for LTE reach. One of the notable success stories in this bracket was Yangon, where the measured 4G availability was at 82.8%.

“This is particularly impressive when you consider that 4G services were only launched in Myanmar within the last two years. Yangon also placed highly in our comparison of 4G speeds in East Asia cities, and while this can be partly explained by relatively low LTE user numbers in the market, achieving a 4G reach of over 80% is laudable,” the report said.

OpenSignal said Seoul’s leading score of near-98% 4G availability is among the highest that it has ever measured – but it is unlikely to get much better.

“We can expect to see measurements pass 98% and possibly even approach 99% in the most connected cities in the next few years, but it is doubtful whether we will ever see a score of 100%,” it said.

“We recently took a look at 4G availability in London to answer the question of whether operators will ever be able to achieve complete LTE reach and concluded that ‘not-spots’ — areas of limited or no mobile coverage — will never go away completely as they’re part of the nature of building cellular networks.”

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