Global mean download speeds on fixed and mobile networks increased 31.9% and 59.5%, respectively, from July 2020 to July 2021, according to the latest release of the Speedtest Global Index.
Fixed broadband attained median speeds of 107.50 Mbps and mobile reached 55.07 Mbps, according to the Speedtest Global Index. The increase was even more impressive over a two-year period: Mobile increased 98.9% when compared to July 2019, 141.4% faster than July 2018 and 194.0% faster than June 2017.
Only in two months –February and March 2020—did mobile speeds not get faster. Increases resumed in April 2020 and reached pre-February levels in May of that year. This, Speedtest notes, coincided with many national lockdowns due to COVID-19.
On the fixed broadband side, median download speeds increased 68.2% in July compared to July 2019, 131.3% compared to July 2018 and 196.1% compared to June 2017. There also was a speedbump, so to speak, similar to mobile in March 2020.
Global Top Five
There was a bit of jockeying when looking at the fastest countries. The top five for the Mobile Internet in order this year are the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Qatar, China and Cyprus. The U.S. did not crack the top ten in the world.
On the fixed broadband side, the top five this year – again in order – are Monaco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Romania. As with mobile broadband rankings, the U.S. did not crack the top ten for fixed broadband either. The U.S. did come in 9th last year, but has since fallen out of the top ten.
An interesting takeaway is that countries tend to maintain their strength but not specialize. “There has been surprising parity of which countries continue to occupy the top 10 spots on the Speedtest Global Index in July of each year,” the press release said. “However, the lists for mobile and fixed broadband are radically different, with only one country (South Korea) showing up on both lists in 2021.”
Last month, the OpenVault Broadband Insights (OVBI) report for the second quarter of the year found that subscribers with faster Internet connections are growing and that these consumers are consuming much more data. OVBI is primarily U.S. data, but did confirm demand for accelerating speeds here in the U.S., with the percentage of subscribers with 1 Gbps or faster service reaching 10.5% of all subscribers, compared to 4.8% a year earlier.