5G Speeds Soar by 20%, Surpassing Expectations: Ookla’s Global Connectivity Report 2023


The global landscape of internet connectivity is evolving rapidly with significant improvements in both 5G and fixed networks. A new report of Ookla’s Global Connectivity Report 2023 tells us about the current status of internet connections worldwide, showing big improvements in both 5G and fixed networks. The report highlights advancements, challenges, and the imperative of closing the connectivity gap.

One of the key takeaways from the report is the remarkable surge in global 5G download speeds. In Q3 2023, the median global 5G download speed experienced a substantial 20% increase, reaching 203.04 Mbps compared to 168.27 Mbps in the same quarter of the previous year. This shows positive progress in user adoption of 5G and the performance of 5G networks.

The global 5G connections reached 1.4 billion, representing a 65% year-on-year increase. If I talk about the top countries for 5G performance, the United Arab Emirates got the top spot, surpassing South Korea. The United Arab Emirates and South Korea stood out as leaders in 5G performance with the fastest median 5G download speeds at 592.01 Mbps and 507.59 Mbps, respectively. Other countries that jumped in the ranking include Malaysia, India, and the Dominican Republic. It is important to note that half of the top 10 countries for 5G performance in 2023 hailed from the Asia Pacific region.

India also made a significant leap, climbing 72 places. This was due to increasing 5G adoption by smartphone manufacturers and consumers. India saw a median 5G download speed of 312.26 Mbps. 5G was launched in India back in October 2022.

The Dominican Republic was the first Caribbean nation and the third in Latin America to adopt 5G in December 2021. It also made it to the top 10 fastest 5G countries.

Although there’s a rise in 5G speed and adoption, there’s still room for enhancement in 5G technology. 5G services still didn’t meet expectations and users found disparities between actual 5G speeds and advertised speeds.

Ookla’s report also found significant performance improvement in fixed networks globally. The world saw a 19% increase in median download speed (83.95 Mbps) and a notable 28% increase in upload speed (38.32 Mbps) in Q3 2023 compared to the previous year. The surge in performance was due to advanced broadband technologies. The United Arab Emirates and Singapore led the fixed network performance due to widespread access to fiber networks.

Challenges faced by 5G include a decline in the Net Promoter Score (NPS) due to factors like customer care and pricing. In South Korea, consumers gave lower scores in Q3 2023, pointing to issues beyond network performance.

Ookla’s report also calls for affordable 4G smartphones and targeted financing to reduce poverty. While 5G shows promise, connecting communities, especially in rural areas, remains a top priority. There’s still a need to address the connectivity gap for global digital inclusion and ensure the benefits of the digital age reach everyone.

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