Brazilian gamers see improvement in broadband latency and speed

Users are getting a better gameplay experience as demand increases during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

Brazilians have seen recent improvements in fixed broadband latency as demand for online gaming rises during the Covid-19 outbreak, a new study has found.

Latency - the reaction time of a connection - varies between countries across Latin America, particularly when it comes to fixed broadband. Latency is a key metric in gaming and determines much of the user's experience in terms of the absence of lags during gameplay. Gamers ideally aim for a latency of less than 50 milliseconds and preferably less than 30ms.

According to the data from Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence, gamers in Brazil had the lowest mean latency on fixed broadband, relevant for games played on PC and console games, at 19 ms during Q2 2020, down from 23 ms in the same period in 2019. By comparison, Colombia had the highest fixed broadband latency at 43 ms. The study noted investments in fiber contributed to the recent improvements.

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Mobile latency, which is relevant to games played through devices such as smartphones, did not vary as much: Argentina had the best latency on mobile at 40 ms, followed closely by Chile at 41 ms. Brazil had mobile latency at 46 ms and Colombia had the highest latency during this period at 47 ms.

As well as latency during the pandemic, the report also brought data on internet performance, which is also important to gamers. While some countries experienced a dip in speeds in March, the study noted that on the whole, internet speeds on fixed broadband have increased in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico since the week of March 2, 2020.

In addition, the report noted that apart from Chile, the largest Latin American economies have also experienced an increase in mobile speeds, ranging from a 2% increase in Colombia to a 19% increase in Mexico.

According to a separate study by Comscore, Brazil is the world's fourth-largest market for games after India, United States and China. The report estimates there are 84 million gamers in Brazil - this is equivalent to 70% of the country's online population, currently estimated at 120 million. Of that total, 64.3 million only use mobile devices to play games.