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30% of connections in India now above 4 Mbps: Akamai

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India has 30% connections above the 4 Mbps threshold, according to a study conducted by content delivery network Akamai Technologies for its Q3 2016 State of the Internet report. Overall, connections above 4 Mbps saw 19% increase from the previous quarter, and 116% from the same quarter last year. However, despite this, the country was still the 2nd lowest ranked in the Asia-Pacific region and overall 103rd in the world.


The average connection speeds in the country were also up – 4.1 Mbps from 3.6 Mbps last quarter – but still continued to be the slowest average internet speed in the APAC region. Honestly, as we have mentioned time and again, even 4.1 Mbps appears to be hard to believe for India, although Akamai attributed the growth to initiatives like Google’s RailTel. South Korea continued to have the fastest average connection speed in the region and globally at 26.3 Mbps followed by Hong Kong at 20.1 Mbps (also 2nd globally) and Singapore at 18.2 Mbps (6th globally). Overall India’s average internet speed grew by 14% QoQ and 62% YoY, and ranked 105th globally.


Going by Akamai’s previous reports, India’s internet speed has climbed steadily over time to finally breach the 4 Mbps average speed barrier – the speed Akamai considers as broadband. Last quarter, according to Akamai, India had an average internet speed of 3.6 Mbps, up from 2.5 Mbps in Q3 2015, from 2 Mbps in Q3 2014 and from 1.4 Mbps in Q3 2013. It’s worth noting that the TRAI defines broadband as internet connections above 512 Kbps, although it recently recommended redefining the minimum broadband speed to 2mbps.


High speed broadband adoption:

Akamai defines broadband connections with speeds over 10 Mbps as high-speed broadband. The adoption of high speed broadband in India stood at 6.6%, a 23% increase QoQ and 189% increase YoY. As of now, the country ranks 74th internationally, with some Asian countries like Philippines and Sri Lanka lagging behind India.

In South Korea, 78% of the internet connections were above the 10 Mbps mark, while 97% were above the 4 Mbps mark. Singapore and Hong Kong also had impressive broadband adoption rates with 67% the connections in each country above 10 Mbps, and 93% above 4 Mbps.

15 Mbps connections:

There is a growing demand for 4K (Ultra HD) video content globally and even in India, given that 4K TVs are available for as cheap as Rs 35,000. According to Akamai, 10-20 Mbps bandwidth is the minimum speed required for seamless streaming of 4K videos. The 15 Mbps speed hits that sweet spot nicely.

South Korea ranked first by this metric, with 61% of the connection above 15 Mbps, followed by Hong Kong & Singapore at 49% and 46% respectively. In India 15 Mbps or more speed adoption increased 215% YoY and stood at 2.6%, an increase of 30% from last quarter.

Mobile connections:

India had an average mobile internet speed of 3.5 Mbps in Q3FY16. The fastest average mobile speed in Asia-Pacific at 12.8 Mbps, belonged to Australia. As per the report, the UK has the fastest average internet speed globally at 23.7 Mbps. The mobile penalty, basically the difference in load time caused due to slower pings on mobile as opposed to broadband, in India stood at 1.4x.

IP adoption:

Interestingly, Reliance Jio Infocomm was the only Indian network provider that has over half of its connections on IPv6, with 74% of its traffic sending requests through IPv6 networks. This can be expected, since the telecom operator is new and the world is running out of IPv4 addresses. Overall, IPv6 adoption rates in India increased by 715%, thanks to adoption by telecom operators like MTS India and Idea cellular.

The State of the Internet report is based on data collected by Akamai’s Intelligent Platform across several metrics like internet connection speeds, broadband adoption rates, mobile connectivity, and attack traffic.

Image source: Julian Burgess under CC BY 2.0

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