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Best and Worst Countries for Wi-Fi Access

The Internet has not spread around the globe equally. Just as each country has its own economic policy, each one’s relationship with technology also affects how it stands in comparison to neighboring nations.

Countries With the Best Public Wi-Fi

When navigating the globe’s public Wi-Fi hotspots, high-speed Internet is not always easy to come by. The top 20 countries for Wi-Fi are mostly in Europe, with Lithuania and Croatia leading the pack with the fastest download speeds.best-worst-wifi-countries

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Here are the top 20 countries for Wi-Fi and their connection speeds. (All figures are in Mbps.)

    • USA
      • Average download speeds: 6.89
      • Average upload speeds: 4.37
    • Canada
      • Average download speeds: 7.16
      • Average upload speeds: 3.32
    • Portugal
      • Average download speeds: 7.43
      • Average upload speeds: 2.55
    • Sweden
      • Average download speeds:7.9
      • Average upload speeds: 9.29
    • Germany
      • Average download speeds: 7.96
      • Average upload speeds: 2.95
    • Latvia
      • Average download speeds: 8.46
      • Average upload speeds: 8.33
    • Switzerland
      • Average download speeds: 8.67
      • Average upload speeds: 3.9
    • Finland
      • Average download speeds: 8.69
      • Average upload speeds: 6.09
    • Singapore
      • Average download speeds: 9.49
      • Average upload speeds: 5.41
    • Bulgaria
      • Average download speeds: 9.67
      • Average upload speeds: 6.31
    • Slovenia
      • Average download speeds: 9.72
      • Average upload speeds: 6.69
    • Belgium
      • Average download speeds: 10.07
      • Average upload speeds: 3.22
    • Hungary
      • Average download speeds: 10.37
      • Average upload speeds: 4.03
    • Denmark
      • Average download speeds: 10.52
      • Average upload speeds: 6.06
    • UK
      • Average download speeds: 10.97
      • Average upload speeds: 5.26
    • Romania
      • Average download speeds: 11.32
      • Average upload speeds: 7.31
    • Ireland
      • Average download speeds: 11.43
      • Average upload speeds: 5.2
    • Estonia
      • Average download speeds: 13.75
      • Average upload speeds: 12.04
    • Croatia
      • Average download speeds: 14.05
      • Average upload speeds: 11.21
    • Lithuania
      • Average download speeds: 15.4
      • Average upload speeds: 14.17

There are currently 189 million public Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide. That’s 888% growth since 2013. But these hotspots are not distributed equally.

Below are the number of people per hotspot in each country.

      • France: 2.8
      • Belgium: 2.9
      • Denmark: 4.3
      • Austria: 4.6
      • South Korea: 5.6
      • U.S.: 5.8
      • Switzerland: 6.0
      • U.K.: 6.6
      • Israel: 6.6
      • Sweden: 9.4
      • Japan: 9.5
      • Germany: 9.6
      • Australia: 10.7
      • Poland: 11.4
      • Norway: 12.4
      • Spain: 13.0
      • Canada: 13.5
      • Argentina: 21.5
      • United Arab Emirates: 40.2
      • Brazil: 50.2
      • Malaysia: 65.0
      • China: 82.0
      • Turkey: 84.5
      • Mexico: 85.1
      • Russia:88.0
      • South Africa: 233.0
      • Singapore: 320.2
      • Thailand: 325.1
      • Indonesia: 364.1
      • Italy: 979.2
      • Nigeria: 19,874.1
      • India: 39,723.3
      • Colombia: 214,523.1

Average Connection Speeds by Country

Including residential and commercial access, the global average connection speed is 6.1 Mbps (megabits per second). The fastest connection speeds are in South Korea, Norway, Hong Kong, Sweden and Switzerland. The slowest connection speeds are in Venezuela, Paraguay, Namibia, Bolivia and Nigeria.

The Internet speed in South Korea is nearly double that of the United States. The reasons for South Korea’s fast Internet speeds are competition among many broadband carriers, a pro-technology culture, a relatively “open-network” system where companies share infrastructure, a dense population that reduces wiring needs,and a proactive government technology plan enacted in the 1990s.

Mobile Connectivity by Country

Internet traffic through mobile network providers on devices such as smartphones or tablets has increased by 55% since last year.

The fastest mobile connection speeds, on average, are in the United Kingdom (23.1 Mbps), Belgium (21.1 Mbps) Cyprus* (20 Mbps), Switzerland* (19.3 Mbps) and Germany (17 Mbps).

The slowest mobile connection speeds, on average, are in Venezuela (2.2 Mbps), Vietnam (2.8 Mbps), Ecuador* (2.8 Mbps), Argentina (2.8 Mbps) and Panama* (2.9 Mbps).

Note: An * indicates that fewer than 25,000 unique IPv4 addresses classified as mobile were observed.

Comparison of Mobile Connectivity vs. All Internet Access

The difference between mobile speeds and all Internet speeds can vary significantly in some countries. In the U.K., for example, the top speeds on mobile data average 23.1 Mbps, but the total average speeds are 15 Mbps. That means mobile speeds are 8.1 Mbps faster than all Internet access speeds.

Another country that has a stark difference between mobile connectivity speeds and all Internet access, but in the opposite direction, is South Korea. Its total average speeds are 27 Mbps, much higher than the mobile network speeds of 11.1 Mbps.

Fastest-Growing Internet Speeds

Qatar, Egypt, Indonesia and Kenya all had average Internet speeds that increased more than 100% since the previous year. Notably, Kenya’s Internet speeds increased by nearly 300%.

The Internet speed growth for the 10 fastest-growing countries are:

  • Kenya             297%
  • Indonesia     148%
  • Egypt              110%
  • Qatar               101%
  • Iran                 87%
  • South Africa   71%
  • Thailand          63%
  • Vietnam           58%
  • Morocco         58%
  • Saudi Arabia    57%

 

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Egypt 389 528 658 709 1,133 1,050 1,248 1,686 2,428
Indonesia 905 1,106 884 619 719 1,530 2,378 2,163 4,543
Iran 689 845 462 504 658 629 1,331 1,885 3,536
Kenya 347 342 371 469 543 795 1,873 1,830 7,289
Morocco 1,962 1,584 1,654 1,494 1,139 1,910 2,322 2,902 4,253
Qatar 867 1,412 1,428 1,683 1,647 2,118 3,208 6,919 8,358
Saudi Arabia 1,365 1,541 2,209 2,034 2,273 2,034 3,200 3,794 4,653
South Africa 1,120 1,203 1,121 1,481 1,828 2,166 2,603 3,323 6,501
Thailand 780 1,631 2,743 2,645 3,164 3,923 5,155 7,215 10,769
Vietnam 836 1,070 1,681 1,365 1,610 1,383 2,028 3,159 5,030

Sources:
http://blog.rottenwifi.com/countries-best-public-wifi/
https://www.ipass.com/wifi-growth-map/
https://content.akamai.com/PG7075-q2-2016-soti-connectivity-report.html
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/03/31/broadband.south.korea/
https://www.akamai.com/us/en/our-thinking/state-of-the-internet-report/state-of-the-internet-connectivity-visualization.jsp

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