They got there partly through new technology. All the LTE carriers in South Korea use Carrier Aggregation, part of the bundle of specifications called LTE-Advanced, to combine two or more spectrum bands into a single fat pipe. U.S. service providers are far behind on adopting Carrier Aggregation.
Within the U.S., time coverage and speed varied widely among the major carriers, according to OpenSignal. Verizon was at 84 percent time coverage, followed closely by AT&T at 81 percent, but Sprint hit just 64 percent coverage. T-Mobile USA fell in between with 77 percent.
T-Mobile and Verizon tied for speed at 12Mbps, while AT&T averaged 8Mbps and Sprint came in at 6Mbps. None of them went up by more than 1Mbps between the second and third quarters.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.