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You may not feel it if you’re still using ADSL over century-old copper lines in South Africa, but global internet speeds over both fixed broadband and mobile networks have increased in 2017.
And increased by quite a fair bit at that.
According to a new report by Ookla’s Speedtest, the company noted a 30.1% jump in mobile download speeds between November 2016 and November 2017, and a 38.9% increase in mobile upload speeds during the same period.
This equates to a global average of 20.28Mbps down, and 8.65Mbps up.
Fixed broadband networks have also accelerated. 40.11Mbps down is now the global mean, increasing some 31.6% over the previous year. Uploads are also up by 25.9% to 19.96Mbps.
These numbers do suggest that internet infrastructure is improving, but only in select regions of the planet.
Gigabit transfers have been recorded this year in the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore and France, but other countries suffered badly in 2017 from the lack of investment, or natural disasters.
The likes of Puerto Rico, Uzbekistan and Ivory Coast saw slower download speeds over mobile by between 39.8% and 26.1% over the previous year, although the latter still managed to breach the 10Mbps download mark.
Algeria’s fixed broadband speed saw the steepest slide in 2017, with a 23.9% decrease over the previous year. Average download speeds in the country are just 3.76Mbps.
Nevertheless, some countries are experiencing massive growth.
Laos, Vietnam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Hong Kong, experienced beyond 100% growth in mobile internet speeds, while Reunion and Guatemala both experienced similar growth spurts for fixed broadband.
Sudan, the only African country in the mobile download speed best improvers top ten, saw a jump of 68.9% over the previous year to a 9.85Mbps average.
Ghana (82.1%), Libya (67.6%) and Kenya (60.9%) were also on the list of biggest fixed broadband speed gainers.
And in case you’re wondering, Speedtest did not have any usable data for South Africa at the time of writing.
“To be ranked in each category, countries must have at least 670 unique user results for mobile and at least 3333 for fixed broadband,” it clarified.
Have a look at the full report here.