Mobile Data Speed Beats Wi-Fi in Several Countries

Category: Technology/Innovations

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. outpace / ˌaʊtˈpeɪs / (v) – to be faster than something else
    Example:

    Mobile data speed in urban areas outpaces Wi-Fi speed in rural areas.


  2. respectively / rɪˈspɛktɪvli / (adv) – in the order given
    Example:

    The company’s smartphone and laptop products were launched in 2016 and 2017, respectively.


  3. second-rate / ˌsɛkəndˈreɪt / (adj) – of poor quality
    Example:

    The Internet connection in my area is second-rate. It’s very slow.


  4. predecessor / ˈprɛdəˌsɛsɚ / (n) – a person or thing that came before someone or something else
    Example:

    Desktop computers are the predecessors of laptops.


  5. on an equal footing / ɑːn ən ˈiːkwəl ˈfʊtɪŋ / (idiom) – with the same quality and condition as something else
    Example:

    It took 20 years for my telecommunications company to be on an equal footing with the industry giants.


Article

Read the text below.

Mobile data has outpaced Wi-Fi in 33 countries, according to a study.


OpenSignal, a company that surveys the efficiency of mobile networks, claims that mobile data speed is faster than Wi-Fi speed in 41% of 80 countries. Some of these countries are Australia and Qatar, with mobile data speeds that are faster than Wi-Fi by 13 and 11.8 Mbps, respectively.


OpenSignal explained that Wi-Fi is readily available in any location, which can result in network overcrowding and lags. On the other hand, mobile data is more secure, so users do not have to worry too much about lags.


Ian Fogg, the author of the study, said that there is a common misconception that mobile data is second-rate. Its negative reputation started in 2008 when mobile data had limited capacity and was slower and more expensive than Wi-Fi.


Presently, mobile data performance has improved because of the rise of smartphones and the development of 4G, a wireless mobile service that is 10 times faster than its predecessor. Mobile data is even expected to improve further with the development of 5G, which will be even faster than 4G.


Despite the improvement of mobile data, many countries still rely on speedy Wi-Fi connections. In fact, the majority of the countries in OpenSignal’s study have faster Wi-Fi than mobile data speeds. These countries include Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States.


Nonetheless, OpenSignal’s study highlights that because of the progress it has made over the years, mobile data is now almost on an equal footing with Wi-Fi.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think people’s perception of mobile data will change with the study’s publication? Why or why not?
• Do you think it is possible for mobile data to completely outpace Wi-Fi in all countries? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• How do you think mobile data and Wi-Fi services will change in the future? Discuss.
• What services do you think telecommunications companies should still develop? Discuss.

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