Home The countries with the fastest mobile network speeds in Europe

The countries with the fastest mobile network speeds in Europe

A new study has ranked the countries of Europe by the average speed of their mobile networks.

A recent report from internet insights firm Opensignal analyzed mobile download speeds across the continent in 2023. The results showed substantial improvements across most markets, with analysis looking at 34 countries including Denmark, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Scandinavia leads the pack

The Scandinavian nations of Denmark, Finland, and Norway are leading the way in Europe’s mobile speed race. These countries witnessed massive gains over 2022, with Denmark’s mobile speeds jumping by 25.5 megabits per second (mbps) to reach 98.8mbps, Finland increasing by 17.7mbps to hit 71.6mbps, and Norway boosting speeds by 16.5mbps to achieve 102.3mbps. Their networks now deliver high-speed mobile connectivity.

Behind the front-running Scandinavians, other central European countries like Switzerland, Austria and Germany registered strong mobile download speed increases between 7-12mbps. Southern countries including Spain and Italy lagged top performers, posting more modest 3-4Mbps annual download speed gains.

UK falling behind

The United Kingdom may have the sixth largest economy in the world, but it remains a European mobile laggard, with average download speeds standing at just 33mbps at the end of 2023 – up only 3.2mbps from the prior year.

Compared to the major leaps achieved by Scandinavian and other central European countries, the UK’s networks are slowly improving.

According to the Opensignal analysis, gaps in European mobile speeds can be explained by factors like 5G rollout pacing and infrastructure investments. Leaders have prioritized advanced network deployments, while laggard countries have seen slower fiber and 5G builds.

The data reveals a continent of general mobile download speed improvements but also a growing digital divide. Forward-looking Scandinavian countries continue surging ahead with excellent speeds, while the UK risks falling further behind without accelerated network upgrades. For British mobile users weary of laggy connections, rapid relief remains unlikely.

Sam Fenwick, principal analyst at Opensignal explained to Readwrite.com some of the factors causing the UK to lag behind its Scandic neighbors.

” The requirement to remove Huawei hardware has consumed a lot of UK mobile operators’ time and resources while making it harder to focus on rolling out 5G,” Fenwick explained.

Fenwick also mentions slow 3G phaseouts in the UK as well as less effective use of the 5G spectrum, which makes it harder for the UK to compete on speed.

He adds: “Speaking more generally, a large factor in the Scandinavian and Nordic markets’ success is the close collaboration between operators and two of the main global radio equipment providers, Ericsson and Nokia, which are headquartered in these regions.

“Collaboration between them, together with regulators, has resulted in the high quality of the mobile experience enjoyed by Opensignal users.”

The European countries with the fastest average download speed on mobile networks (2023)

Norway – 102.3mbps
Denmark – 98.9mbps
Netherlands – 81.7mbps
Finland – 71.6mbps
Bulgaria – 71.1mbps
Croatia – 66.2mbps
Sweden – 66.2mbps
Switzerland – 60.3bps
North Macedonia – 58.2mbps
France – 53.5mbps
Lithuania – 52.6mbps
Estonia – 52.2mbps
Germany – 51.1mbps
Austria – 49.9mbps
Portugal – 47.5mbps
Serbia – 45.5mbps
Slovakia – 45.2mbps
Slovenia – 45.1mbps
Latvia – 43.9mbps
Belgium – 43.8mbps
Albania – 41.8mbps
Greece – 41.3mbps
Montenegro – 40.3mbps
Czech Republic – 39.5mbps
Hungary – 35.7mbps
Spain – 34.8mbps
Ireland – 33.5mbps
Romania – 33.1mbps
UK – 33.0mbps
Poland – 32.8mbps
Italy – 32.4mbps
Moldova – 28.9mbps
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 22.0mbps
Kosovo – 18.6mbps

Featured image: Dall-E

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Sam Shedden
Executive Editor

Sam Shedden is an experienced journalist and editor with over a decade of experience in online news. A seasoned technology writer and content strategist, he has contributed to many UK regional and national publications including The Scotsman, inews.co.uk, nationalworld.com, Edinburgh Evening News, The Daily Record and more. Sam has written and edited content for audiences whose interests include media, technology, AI, start-ups and innovation. He's also produced and set-up email newsletters in numerous specialist topics in previous roles and his work on newsletters saw him nominated as Newsletter Hero Of The Year at the UK's Publisher Newsletter Awards 2023. He…

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