Cellular download speeds are actually getting slower

Kif Leswing
Business Insider
Tortoise slow
Tortoise slow

(REUTERS/Keith Bedford KDB/NL)
If your phone's cellular download speed seems to be slower than it used to be, you're not crazy.

In big markets in the United States, LTE's median speeds have dropped by as much as 50% in the last year, according to a study done by TwinPrime, a startup that makes tools to speed up mobile apps. 

The study does not break down speeds by carrier, but the trend is something all four major carriers in the United States are seeing.

The reason why LTE speeds are declining is because while the amount of data the carriers can carry has remained mostly the same over the past year, the number of users and the amount of data they're using is skyrocketing. 

Twin Prime says T-Mobile is the fastest carrier overall with the lowest latency — but that could change as it attracts more customers. 

Here's a chart showing the rise of data usage: 

data usage in 2015 CTIA
data usage in 2015 CTIA

(Twin Prime)

So as more people stream video and send snaps, the whole network slows down. 

The effect is even worse in the big cities, where there are more people overloading the networks: 

LTE cities in the US 1024x969
LTE cities in the US 1024x969

(Twin Prime)

Take a look at the entire report at Twin Prime

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