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Data roaming speeds in Europe

This year, Speedtest has expanded its analysis to all European countries and included data on Wi-Fi roaming behavior (analysis is based on Speedtest data from Android devices on 4G LTE cellular connections during Q3-Q4 2018). data roaming europe

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Find out more about data roaming Europe below.

Most Europeans experience slower downloads while roaming

Roaming traffic is subject to deals struck between individual mobile operators on how that traffic will be prioritized, so roaming speeds can depend not only on the country of origin but also on the country of destination and the plan a subscriber has selected.

Consider the following table where an Albanian experiences a mean download speed of 54.56 Mbps at home and then 38.47 Mbps while roaming elsewhere in Europe. This is expected as a roamer does not usually have a direct relationship with the mobile operator handling their data and calls abroad.

Mean Mobile Download Speeds in Europe
Speedtest Data | Q3-Q4 2018
Country
Local Speed (Mbps)
Roaming Speed (Mbps)
% Difference
Austria
38.23
35.78
-6.4%
Belarus
16.15
19.49
20.7%
Belgium
52.58
35.42
-32.6%
Bulgaria
47.28
32.35
-31.6%
Croatia
43.83
43.60
-0.5%
Cyprus
37.13
20.58
-44.6%
Czech Republic
44.91
13.43
-70.1%
Denmark
48.83
34.89
-28.6%
Estonia
36.43
38.98
7.0%
Finland
39.33
38.20
-2.9%
France
39.94
34.97
-12.5%
Germany
33.77
28.57
-15.4%
Greece
41.35
38.08
-7.9%
Hungary
49.57
28.19
-43.1%
Iceland
69.27
35.58
-48.6%
Ireland
28.23
31.49
11.6%
Italy
32.18
43.12
34.0%
Kazakhstan
22.93
13.80
-39.8%
Latvia
30.88
33.79
9.4%
Liechtenstein
56.48
36.66
-35.1%
Lithuania
41.49
33.43
-19.4%
Luxembourg
50.91
25.08
-50.7%
Malta
56.34
34.27
-39.2%
Montenegro
45.45
49.97
10.0%
Netherlands
56.06
33.86
-39.6%
Norway
68.49
38.69
-43.5%
Poland
28.74
29.71
3.4%
Portugal
32.06
36.95
15.3%
Romania
36.64
30.74
-16.1%
Russia
20.91
20.47
-2.1%
Serbia
43.41
21.64
-50.1%
Slovakia
33.47
31.80
-5.0%
Slovenia
35.51
36.41
2.5%
Spain
36.07
22.37
-38.0%
Sweden
44.87
34.59
-22.9%
Switzerland
47.59
30.36
-36.2%
Turkey
38.19
28.77
-24.7%
Ukraine
26.07
25.48
-2.3%
United Kingdom
30.84
38.76
25.7%

 

Residents of the Czech Republic will face massive speed disappointment when roaming through the rest of Europe. Other countries with much better speeds at home than abroad include Luxembourg, Serbia, Iceland and Cyprus.

 

In ten European countries, citizens experience faster mobile downloads while roaming than they do at home. These include: Italy, the United Kingdom, Belarus, Portugal, Ireland, Montenegro, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and Slovenia. Most of these are among the slowest countries on this list, so it would make sense that their citizens would experience better speeds elsewhere in Europe than they do at home.

Roaming speeds vary widely by destination data roaming europe

Given that roaming agreements do vary widely, we analyzed a subset of roaming destinations for each European country to demonstrate the variance. Click on the map below to see the country’s download speed at home and the average download speed customers from that country saw in top roaming destinations where we saw greater than 30 data samples.

Europeans are connected to Wi-Fi most of the time

Customers sometimes try to get better speeds and avoid roaming fees (for those outside the E.U.) and data overages by connecting to Wi-Fi. The following table compares the percentage of time spent on Wi-Fi by a resident of a country with that of a visitor to the country.

Percentage of Time Spent on Wi-Fi in Europe
Speedtest Data | Q3-Q4 2018
Country
Local Customers
Visitors
% Difference
Albania
61.9%
59.8%
-3.4%
Andorra
73.6%
69.0%
-6.2%
Armenia
61.5%
68.1%
10.7%
Austria
65.6%
36.7%
-44.1%
Azerbaijan
67.0%
70.7%
5.5%
Belarus
63.9%
58.3%
-8.9%
Belgium
71.1%
32.9%
-53.7%
Bosnia and Herzegovina
71.9%
66.0%
-8.2%
Bulgaria
65.2%
46.8%
-28.2%
Croatia
66.1%
41.0%
-38.0%
Cyprus
70.9%
58.4%
-17.7%
Czech Republic
75.1%
38.9%
-48.1%%
Denmark
70.4%
52.9%
-24.9%
Estonia
61.2%
45.6%
-25.4%
Finland
56.6%
47.1%
-16.7%
France
60.2%
43.1%
-28.5%
Georgia
61.4%
62.2%
1.3%
Germany
72.2%
42.4%
-41.3%
Greece
73.5%
52.2%
-28.9%
Hungary
71.9%
35.0%
-51.3%
Iceland
65.7%
58.2%
-11.4%
Ireland
67.2%
52.4%
-22.0%
Italy
64.1%
48.9%
-23.7%
Kazakhstan
57.7%
64.7%
12.3%
Latvia
60.9%
43.8%
-28.1%
Liechtenstein
71.7%
58.2%
-18.9%
Lithuania
66.8%
43.3%
-35.1%
Luxembourg
63.6%
26.0%
-59.1%
Macedonia
65.3%
52.9%
-18.9%
Malta
74.3%
58.0%
-22.0%
Moldova
67.2%
67.3%
0.2%
Montenegro
63.6%
65.2%
2.5%
Netherlands
73.0%
42.5%
-41.7%
Norway
74.7%
59.7%
-20.1%
Poland
62.5%
48.1%
-23.1%
Portugal
69.1%
54.7%
-20.9%
Romania
62.4%
48.7%
-21.9%
Russia
58.8%
65.9%
12.2%
San Marino
66.8%
39.7%
-40.6%
Serbia
68.6%
61.2%
-10.7%
Slovakia
69.6%
35.1%
-49.6%
Slovenia
63.3%
26.4%
-58.3%
Spain
70.8%
53.0%
-25.2%
Sweden
71.8%
44.9%
-37.4%
Switzerland
62.4%
47.2%
-24.4%
Turkey
61.7%
73.0%
18.4%
Ukraine
61.5%
62.4%
1.5%
United Kingdom
71.3%
54.0%
-24.3%

Finland showed the lowest time spent on Wi-Fi by residents at 56.6%. Kazakhstan was second at 57.7% followed by Russia (58.8%), France (60.2%) and Latvia (60.9%). The Czech Republic showed the highest time spent on Wi-Fi by residents at 75.1%. Norway was second at 74.7% followed by Malta (74.3%), Andorra (73.6%) and Greece (73.5%).

When it comes to time spent on Wi-Fi by visitors, Luxembourg had the lowest percentage at 26.0%. Slovenia was second at 26.4% followed by Belgium (32.9%), Hungary (35.0%) and Slovakia (35.1%). Turkey showed the highest time spent on Wi-Fi by visitors at 73.0%. Azerbaijan was second at 70.7% followed by Andorra (69.0%), Armenia (68.1%) and Moldova (67.3%). data roaming europe

Luxembourg saw the largest difference in time spent on Wi-Fi between residents and visitors with visitors using Wi-Fi 59.1% less than residents. Slovenia was close behind at 58.3%, followed by Belgium (53.7%) and Hungary (51.3%). On the other end of the spectrum, visitors to Turkey were on Wi-Fi 18.4% longer than residents followed by Kazakhstan (12.3%) and Russia (12.2%).

Roaming dramatically increases latency in Europe data roaming europe

Because roaming signals are routed through a user’s home network, latency is always an issue in roaming. Speedtest data shows that latency while roaming is a much larger issue for residents of some countries than it is for others.

Comparing European Latency In-Country and Abroad
Speedtest Data | Q3-Q4 2018
Country
Local Latency (ms)
Roaming Latency (ms)
% Difference
Austria
24
83
245.8%
Belarus
32
75
134.4%
Belgium
24
81
237.5%
Bulgaria
24
126
425.0%
Croatia
32
86
168.8%
Cyprus
20
194
870.0%
Czech Republic
24
86
258.3%
Denmark
24
98
308.3%
Estonia
23
78
239.1%
Finland
26
104
300.0%
France
42
87
107.1%
Germany
33
87
163.6%
Greece
27
137
407.4%
Hungary
22
94
327.3%
Iceland
18
163
805.6%
Ireland
34
114
235.3%
Italy
52
116
123.1%
Kazakhstan
35
164
368.6%
Latvia
24
94
291.7%
Liechtenstein
40
90
125.0%
Lithuania
26
108
315.4%
Luxembourg
23
73
217.4%
Malta
18
141
683.3%
Montenegro
18
42
133.3%
Netherlands
26
81
211.5%
Norway
36
109
202.8%
Poland
33
104
215.2%
Portugal
27
102
277.8%
Romania
26
131
403.8%
Russia
42
161
283.3%
Serbia
22
76
245.5%
Slovakia
30
69
130.0%
Slovenia
21
69
228.6%
Spain
45
118
162.2%
Sweden
30
118
293.3%
Switzerland
26
75
188.5%
Turkey
26
115
342.3%
Ukraine
35
116
231.4%
United Kingdom
37
107
189.2%

Residents of Cyprus saw an average latency of 194 ms while roaming in Europe. The country with the second highest latency for residents roaming abroad was Kazakhstan at 164 ms, followed by Iceland (163 ms). Russia (161 ms) and Malta (141 ms). In contrast, Montenegro had a lower latency for residents roaming abroad than Italy did for residents using their mobile phones locally.

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