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South Korea, Denmark, Hong Kong, Switzerland and China lead way in mobile and fixed broadband download speed ranking

Mean download speeds over mobile and broadband this year are nearly 200% faster than in 2017, according to Speedtest.
Written by Jonathan Greig, Contributor

Speedtest has released its latest Global Index, finding that the global mean of download speeds has increased over the last year on both mobile and fixed broadband. The index tracked download speeds worldwide from July 2020 to July 2021. 

Global mean mobile speeds have reached 55.07Mbps and 107.50Mbps for fixed broadband, representing 59.5% and 31.9% increases, respectively. 

Mean download speeds over mobile are nearly 100% faster than they were in 2019 and almost 200% compared to 2017 when the Speedtest Global Index was first created. There were similar increases with mean download speeds over broadband, with data showing it was nearly 200% faster this year than it was in 2017. 

"Over the last two years, there were only two months when the global average for mobile download speed did not show an upward slope: February and March 2020. Speeds began increasing again in April 2020 but did not recover to pre-February levels until May 2020. This coincides with initial lockdowns due to COVID-19 in many countries," Isla McKetta, head of content at Ookla, explained in a blog post. 

"There was a similar dip in download speed over fixed broadband in March of 2020 as we saw on mobile."

Surprisingly, the lists for countries in the top 10 of the Global Index are completely different aside from South Korea, which is on both lists this year. 

According to Speedtest, the United Arab Emirates came in first place for mobile in both 2020 and 2021, followed by South Korea at number two this year. China, Qatar and Cyprus rounded out the top five. Norway, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Australia and Bulgaria also found their way onto the top ten list. 


McKetta noted it was interesting that both Australia and Canada declined on this year's list despite dramatically improving their speeds over the past three years. 

Monaco led the way for fixed broadband, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Romania, Switzerland, South Korea, Chile, Denmark and Liechtenstein.

Monaco was sixth in the 2019 list and 10th in 2020 but skyrocketed to number one this year. Singapore and Hong Kong have both placed highly on the list over the last three years. South Korea has dropped lower in the ranking each year, and both Chile and Denmark are first-timers in the top 10, bumping out the US. 


"Most countries that made the top 10 in July 2021 for either mobile or fixed broadband were performing well over the global average for both at that point in time. South Korea and the UAE stood out with mean mobile download speeds that were more than 240% faster than the global average and fixed broadband downloads that were more than 70% faster than the global average," McKetta wrote. 

"China's mobile download speed was more than 180% faster than the global average, and the country was more than 70% faster than the global average for fixed broadband. Switzerland's mobile and fixed broadband download speeds were close to 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 faster than average mobile speeds and below-average fixed broadband speeds."

Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, Hong Kong, Romania, and the UAE saw increases in mobile and fixed broadband speeds. In contrast, countries like Chile and Norway saw increases in fixed broadband but declines in mobile.

The countries that saw increases in mobile included China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Bulgaria, but these countries also saw no changes with broadband. According to the report, Thailand and Singapore saw declines in both mobile and fixed broadband compared to the global average. 

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