Global Internet Access Speeds Grow; Mobile Use Might be the Bigger Trend
Global average Internet connection speeds continued to improve in the fourth quarter of 2013, with a quarterly increase of 5.5 percent, reaching 3.8 Mbps, on average, according to the Akamai Technologies Fourth Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet report.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network providers ranged from a high of 8.9 Mbps down to a low of 0.6 Mbps, Akamai says.
Average peak connection speeds above 100 Mbps were observed at several providers, while 3.1 Mbps was the slowest seen.
But it is the growth of mobile Internet adoption, more than the raw speed increases, that are most notable.
Based on traffic data collected by Ericsson, the volume of mobile data traffic increased by 70 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, and grew approximately 15 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2013.
As always, “average” means little. Despite the improvement, half of the countries or regions listed among the top 10 in global average connection speeds actually saw small declines quarter over quarter.
Also, despite a 1.1 percent decline in average connection speed, South Korea held the top spot from quarter to quarter, reporting the highest average connection speed of 21.9 Mbps.
United States access speeds increased, on average, about two percent, leading to an overall average Internet access speed of 10 Mbps.
Overall, 133 countries or regions ended the year with higher average connection speeds than the year before, contributing to a speed increase of 27 percent from the end of 2012.
Global average peak connection speeds recovered from a small decline in the third quarter of 2013 with improvement of 30 percent to 23.2 Mbps in the fourth quarter.
About 138 qualifying countries or regions, and all of the top 10, saw higher average peak connection speeds than in the third quarter.
Year over year, global average peak connection speeds increased 38 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.
Quarter-over-quarter, the global broadband adoption rate grew 4.3 percent, with 55 percent of all connections to Akamai taking place at speeds of 4 Mbps or above.