For smartphone gaming, 5G is already spawning Wi-Fi

Do you like to play while you are away from home? You’re probably using your smartphone, and common sense says you’d find a Wi-Fi network to get the best internet connection and continue your game. Well, throw that idea out the window if you have a 5G phone and a location with 5G connectivity.

Opensignal collects data(Opens in a new window) of millions of devices around the world running its software. He looked at download and upload speeds across different connection types from tests collected from December 2021 to February 2022, and used them to quantify what he calls the Game Experience Score for each type. Anything with a score of 75 or more (out of 100) is considered good to play.

Only two types of connection reach that level. Home and office Wi-Fi networks at 76.3 are one. It’s the connection most mobile gamers would gravitate towards. But tests show that if your phone has mmWave 5G, the score goes up to 81.8.

Obviously, 4G lags behind. But it’s interesting to note that even the lower band 5G gets a 74.5. That’s a few points higher than any of the hotspot Wi-Fi connections found in hotels, cafes, shops, and other public places, where network congestion, return speed, and equipment quality are out. of your control.

Opensignal conducted this same research in 2021(Opens in a new window) and notes that “the overall 5G experience has improved faster than the Wi-Fi experience” in the past year. Last year, it focused on download and upload speeds and provided the same information this time. It saw a decline in mmWave 5G downloads: It was 640.5 Mbps, but it fell to 571.6 Mbps this year.


But we go. That average mmWave download speed wipes out any other type of wireless connection. Even standard low-spectrum 5G is 4.8 times faster than a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you’re just downloading files or streaming, it looks more and more like 5G will be your connection of choice, once you can get it. This is why both T-Mobile and Verizon can sell home-based internet service using nothing more than 5G for backhaul.

Additionally, mmWave 5G beats the rest when it comes to upload speed, something that can usually be blamed on stingy ISPs (if they’re not fiber-based).


Those numbers are in line with the 2021 results, all with a slight improvement. In fact, Wi-Fi improvements were the most significant; Public Wi-Fi went from 11.2 Mbps to 19.5 Mbps. But it still wasn’t enough to catch up with mmWave 5G.

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Read the full report on Opensignal(Opens in a new window).

For more on internet connections for gaming, check out the Best Gaming ISPs for 2022: Nothing Will Beat Fiber to the Home for Real Gaming for Long. You can be a part of that story by testing your Internet connection below. (Turn off your VPN and any video streaming for best results.)

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