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Internet speeds around the world

5G and Internet Speed around the World 

Korea sets its sights on a 5G internet connection, but how far behind are the rest of the world?

After the announcement earlier this week that the South Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) is was working on 5G internet technology have you ever wondered how your internet measures up to our international neighbours?

internet speed table

The £900 million investment in 5G internet would effectively obliterate the, relatively new, 4G connection out of the market with speeds up to 1000 times faster than previous generation. That equates to downloading an 800MB movie, via the airwaves, in just one second.

Although the technology is still in its research stage, the implemented idea is expected to be gracing Koreas devices by 2020. It’s also expected to be researched by the Chinese and Americans over the coming years.

However, It’s not just mobile internet where the Far East is ahead of the rest of the world- Figures about average internet speed across the world read a pretty grim viewing for us Brits.

This map below shows the top 13 countries in the world according to the average speed of their internet in 2013.

internet speed world map

Its perhaps not surprising the that Japan, Korea and Hong Kong top the table but as you can see from the formidable showing in Europe, some more unlikely countries have made their mark on the Internet speed map.

internet map europe

Latvia, The Czech Republic and Romania make up the core countries in Europe that top the average speed table. It’s thought that major investments in internet technologies in the early 2000’s has meant that these nations are ahead of the curve compared to the traditionally economically-powerful European nations like Great Britain, France and even Germany.

Other countries like Bulgaria, Estonia and Slovakia have also had huge investments into their connectivity infrastructure and feature heavily before many of the so called ‘technologically-developed countries’ across the world.

It’s clear that South Korea are incredibly far ahead of the rest of the pack, with these figures set to increase when 2014’s Q1 reports are released in spring. It’s also worth noting that South Korea also has some of the fastest individual internet connections as well as fully implemented 4G service.

So where does the UK stack up against our international neighbours?… well not too well. According to 2013’s figures we were 23rd for our average speed, that’s way behind Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Ireland.

Although the UK did perform well at individual speed tests in select locations, as a nation, our average speed was well below most of the European competition and the far east. Old infrastructure and slow implementation is likely to be the reason for the poor global positioning. Better get these new fibre optic cables laid!

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Danny Young

Features Editor


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  1. keith rawstron 28 January, 2014 at 14:50

     Britain looks like we lost the Great bit a very long time ago now we are catch-up Britain or we are known as help any other country but our own Britain ,
    what a shame we have lost our way for our own country’s population  yet our government think there the savoir for many other country’s get a grip Britain charity begins at home look after our own no one else will 

  2. keith rawstron 28 January, 2014 at 16:04

    keith rawstron, Seen, by himself, as not important enough to capitalise his own name. Makes statements about “no one will help you except yourself” straight after making a statement about GB helping others but not itself. Considers poor internet on a similar level as the genocide of a nations people.

    I was going to put a serious point in, but you do quite a good job of defeating your own argument..

    Any excuse to complain about GB, if its that bad, Leave, im sure there is a hovel for you in Iraq.

  3. Lawrence Richardson 28 January, 2014 at 17:21

    Well if the UK government would get off its arse and stop scaring people about everything but the real issues then it wouldn’t matter so much. Its well known that the “guardians” of the telephonic structure (BT) were given a huge pay out by the govenment to implement the needed upgrades to the infrastructure but instead of usingit for this, they gave it all to thier shareholders (isn’t that fraud?) they have blown two deadlines to get get fibreoptic into every house when they have been threatened with loosing thier monopoly on the phone lines but they’ve never had it taken away! Another company has commited themselves to getting fibre optic into every house in the country within a year if BT loose the monopoly but instead of praising the company and letting them prove it everyone in the government sits back and says “well I’ve got highspeed internet installed at my place so I’m alright jack, screw the plebs” So now BT are screwing the local councils for money to get fibreoptics put in… The country has gone to the dogs, the politicians don’t care who they screw because they’ve lost touch and the businesses are screwing the public because no one is looking.

  4. gbswales 12 September, 2014 at 10:00

    I am always wary of statistics based on just one average perfomance indicator. Speed alone is not the only criteria, equally important are coverage and distribution ie what percentage of a country has internet coverage, what is the percentage of the population actually using the internet and what is the average cost of internet per MB. For example in the UK there is pretty much 100% of the country covered by some level of internet and (I would imagine) a very high proportion of the population using it. It includes provision in very unprofitable rural and outlying areas where the cost of installing fibre optics is very high – this would of course reduce the average speed. Another country which had 80% coverage and a smaller percentage of population using it could produce much average speeds if that usage was concentrated in highly populated areas. I don’t think is correct to bundle wired and over the air internet in the same survey because over the air internet is generally more expensive. Both are important but they should be separated for statistical purposes. Also the emphasis in the UK seems to be towards providing cheaper, rather than better, internet access. Speed must come at a cost whether paid directly by consumers or indirectly through taxation (government subsidies). There are many social arguments that cost is more important than speed and if you can download a movie stream fast enough to watch it in real time, would the expense of faster connections really be justified?

  5. Scott 12 September, 2014 at 10:04

    Bit misleading on the state of broadband in the UK – very fast connections are available in almost all towns and cities, whether people actually choose to get connected to them is another thing.

    Maybe a survey that showed what is actually available to 90% of the population rather than what people have would be a better indicator…I think you’d find the UK stacks up very well in this case.

  6. Rick Timmis 13 September, 2014 at 13:30

    Well it’s little surprise really. In support of Keith Rawstons posts, I agree completely. UK Government has utterly fleeced the public balance sheet.
    John Major’s Maastricht Treaty ensured that the EU could kaibosh any investment plans with it’s “Illegal State Aid directive”. Check your RBS online banking login redirect page if you want to see the Beaurocrats in Brussels in action.
    Of course flogging Telecommunications infrastructure to French, the power infrastructure to the Germans, and blowing the cash on the “Look, at us. We help everyone with our philanthropic generosity”. Easily done when it’s someone elses cash!
    Rant over…
    I’d quite like a 4K Samsung 28″ flat screen, if anyone feels like they want to appear generous 😉

  7. Asterix 13 October, 2014 at 20:18

    I’m not undersanding how the new speeds will work with slow hardware. How do you download a 800mb file in one second of your hard drive can’t write at that speed? It’s the same as DVD writers, they kept getting faster to the point they were faster than the hard drive the data was on. What’s the point? As usual its the wrong technology that’s getting faster. What’s next, faster petrol pumps?

  8. old_nic 10 December, 2014 at 18:06

    The table is superficially inaccurate, according to my own experience of the USA, UK, Ireland and Romania (yes you can get decent telephones now in Romania, if you know how to).
    What is the source? Perhaps I missed it, but normally one would mention who compiled the figures. I notice that Luxembourg, Monaco,San Marino, Lichtenstein, and Andorra are all missing; and perhaps Gibraltar. Does the table include Satellite broadband (?Ireland). Does the original data include the number of connections for each country? etc
    Really any decent article should give some kind of background to the comparison.
    By the way, even with a nominal 10 Megabit connection, in some countries, eg USA, Ireland at peak times the figure is much lower. In Italy (missing from the table) for example it is quite often impossible to get more than 0.2 on a line with a nominal 19!!

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