Global Average Connection Speed Grows 11 Percent Year over Year

  • Akamai
CAMBRIDGE, MA – Even as global average connection speed decreased by approximately seven percent between the second and third quarters of 2012 to 2.8 Mbps, it enjoyed healthy 11 percent growth year over year. This is according to Akamai Technologies' latest quarterly "State of the Internet" report, which includes data gathered from across the Akamai Intelligent Platform about attack traffic, broadband adoption, mobile connectivity and other relevant topics concerning the Internet and its usage, as well as trends seen in this data over time.

The report showed that South Korea continued to have the highest average connection speed at 14.7 Mbps. Japan (10.7 Mbps) and Hong Kong (8.9 Mbps) rounded out the top three countries for average connection speed in the quarter.

Peak Connection Speeds
Similar to the average connection speed metric, the global average peak connection speed also saw a minor quarter-over-quarter decline, dropping 1.4 percent to 15.9 Mbps. In the third quarter of 2012, Hong Kong boasted the highest peak connection speed at just more than 54 Mbps. Looking at year-over-year changes, significant improvement was once again seen in the global average peak connection speed, growing 36 percent.

Akamai observed global broadband (>4 Mbps) and high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption showing solid gains in the quarter. The global high broadband adoption rate grew by 8.8 percent quarter over quarter, reaching 11 percent, while the global broadband adoption rate increased 4.8 percent, growing to 41 percent.

Global Internet Penetration
More than 680 million IPv4 addresses from 243 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform during the third quarter of 2012. The figure represents an 11 percent increase year over year. Since a single IP address can represent multiple individuals in some cases – such as when users access the Web through a firewall or proxy server – Akamai estimates the total number of unique Web users connecting to its platform during the quarter to be well over one billion.

For the second quarter in a row, Brazil experienced the greatest year-over-year growth (39 percent) within the group of top 10 countries with the most unique IPv4 addresses connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform. In the same top 10 group, China (5.7 percent) showed the largest quarter-over-quarter increase.

Analysis of the full set of countries that connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform in the third quarter showed that nearly 60 percent saw a quarterly increase and almost 12 percent saw increases of 10 percent or more.

Mobile Connectivity
In the third quarter of 2012, average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network providers ranged from a high of 7.8 Mbps to a low of 324 kbps. Seven providers showed average connection speeds in the "broadband" (>4 Mbps) range. An additional 68 mobile providers had average connection speeds greater than 1 Mbps. Average peak connection speeds for the quarter ranged from 39.2 Mbps down to 2.8 Mbps. Based on data collected by Ericsson, the volume of mobile data traffic doubled from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012, and grew 16 percent between the second and third quarter of 2012.

Analysis of Akamai IO data collected in the third quarter indicates that for users of mobile devices on cellular networks connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the largest percentage of requests (37.6 percent) came from devices using the Android Webkit. Devices using Apple's Mobile Safari were a close second (35.7 percent). However, for users of mobile devices across all network types, Apple's Mobile Safari accounted for 60.1 percent of requests, with the Android Webkit responsible for 23.1 percent.

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