The internet is getting faster and faster and the Speedtest Global Index is still a fantastic resource for tracking improvements globally and nationally. Today, we take a look at how much internet speeds have increased over the past four years, and which countries have seen some of the biggest gains.
Global mobile download speed jumped 59.5% over the past year, fixed broadband up 31.9%
Global average download speeds have improved over the past 12 months on mobile and fixed broadband to 55.07 Mbps and 107.50 Mbps, respectively, in July 2021. Mobile has seen an increase of 59. 5% from July 2020 to July 2021 and fixed broadband has seen an increase of 31.9%, according to the Speedtest Global Index.
Looking back, the average mobile download speed was 98.9% faster in July 2021 than in July 2019, 141.4% faster compared to July 2021 to July 2018 and 194.0% faster compared to July. 2021 to June 2017, the month we started tracking speeds on the Speedtest World Index. In the past two years, there have only been two months that the global average for mobile download speed has not shown an upward slope: February and March 2020. Speeds started to rise again in April 2020 , but did not return to their pre-February level until May 2020.This coincides with the initial lockdowns due to COVID-19 in many countries.
On fixed broadband, the average download speed was 68.2% faster in July 2021 than in July 2019, 131.3% faster in July 2021 than in July 2018 and 196.1% faster in July 2021 than in June 2017. A similar drop in download speed was observed. on fixed broadband in March 2020 as we have seen on mobile. The speed increased again in April 2020 but did not regain its pre-March level until April 2020.
Top 10 rankings somewhat constant over three years, US and Canada slipping in 2021
There has been a surprising parity among countries that continue to occupy the top 10 spots in the Speedtest World Index in July of each year. However, the lists for mobile and fixed broadband are drastically different, with only one country (South Korea) appearing on both lists in 2021.
The United Arab Emirates and South Korea retain their first and second places for mobile in 2020 and 2021 and China and Qatar only switch for third and fourth places. It’s interesting to see Australia and Canada decline in the rankings although their speeds have increased dramatically over the past three years. 5G is changing mobile rankings where even countries with 5G (which few countries had in 2019) need a strong focus on 5G to maintain their presence at the top of the list for fear of being overtaken by others. other countries with larger investments in 5G.
Fixed broadband rankings are more dynamic than mobile ones. Monaco moved through the top 10 from sixth place in 2019 to 10th in 2020 to first place in 2021. Singapore came in first or second in the three years and Hong Kong (SAR) was in the top four. Romania was solidly in fifth place while South Korea fell lower in the rankings every year. Chile and Denmark both made their top 10 debuts in 2021 and the United States dropped the list.
Most of the top 10 countries perform well for landline and mobile
We were curious to see if the countries that were in the top 10 in July 2021 for mobile or fixed broadband were also performing well on the other medium, so we plotted the percentage difference from the global average of mobile download speed versus fixed broadband download speed. . Note that the world average increased between 2020 and 2021 and that Liechtenstein and Monaco are not included in this comparison because they did not have enough samples to be listed on both axes.
Most of the countries that were in the top 10 in July 2021 for mobile or fixed broadband were performing well above the global average for both at that time. South Korea and the United Arab Emirates stood out with average mobile download speeds over 240% faster than the global average and fixed broadband downloads over 70% faster than the global average. China’s mobile download speed was over 180% faster than the global average, and the country was over 70% faster than the global average for fixed broadband. Switzerland’s mobile and fixed broadband download speeds were almost 100% faster than the global average.
Chile and Thailand are in a quadrant that shows both had faster than average fixed broadband download speeds, but their mobile download speeds were slower than the global average in July 2021. Australia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia were in the opposite quadrant with speeds faster than average moving speeds and lower than average fixed broadband speeds.
Comparing the July 2021 graph to the July 2020 graph, we saw a wide variety of results. Countries with increases over the global average for mobile and fixed broadband are Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, Hong Kong, Romania and the United Arab Emirates. Chile and Norway posted dramatic increases over the global average for fixed broadband and declines for mobile. Bulgaria, China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland increased on mobile but little changed on fixed. South Korea and Qatar increased on mobile compared to the global average and decreased on landline. Singapore and Thailand have declined in mobile and fixed broadband compared to the global average.
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