India Records 99% Growth In Average Internet Speed In 2016: Clocks 5.6 Mbps [REPORT]

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Aarzu Khan
A full-time data scientists and a part-time industry analyst; still learning power of effective presentation and firm believer of the thought "Numbers are always magical". Love to be in the network of people who 'know' how to respect their time and keep others engaged in meaningful activities.

The average Internet speed in India has been doubled in the last year, clocking 5.6 Mbps in Q4 2016, according to the latest report from Akamai. The improving internet infrastructure in the country has helped India to gain a position in the list of Top 100 countries with fastest average internet speed for the very first time. The 99% growth in the average speed of internet in India in just 12 months is also the fastest growth ever the country has ever witnessed.

The growth in the average speed of internet in India has been startling in the last twelve months. With 99% year over year growth India has ranked at the second position, following Vietnam, in Asia Pacific region in terms of growth rate. Vietnam has emerged as the only country in APAC region where the average internet speed has been more than doubled in just 1 year.

India Is Going Through A Massive Reform In Internet Infra

The Akamai report, Titled “State of the Internet Q4 2016” highlights that the unprecedented growth in the average internet speed in India is a result of the massive push by the government of India and private companies in the broadband space. India’s second largest telecom by the number of subscribers, Airtel recently launched V-Fibre broadband service with a promise of 100 Mbps connectivity. The service is expected to extend to 87 cities in the country within a few weeks.

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In contrast to Airtel contribution to the growth, analysts believe that Reliance Jio played a major role in pushing the envelope. The jaw-dropping internet plans and faster internet speed created a ruckus among Internet Service Providers (ISP). Reliance has reportedly collaborated with Samsung to upgrade and enhance their Telecom infrastructure. The move will help the country improve its global ranking in the next few quarters.

In the anticipation of losing their market, most of the ISPs not only reduced the price of data but also increased the throughput, which resulted in faster internet speed.

The privatisation of Internet also played a key role in increased speed of internet in India. Metros and Tier-1 cities have been witnessing a sudden mushrooming of local ISPs which offer faster broadband connectivity in limited areas. ACT, Hathway, GBraodband and many other similar private ISPs have divided cities in multiple pockets to keep the investment low without compromising on the internet speed.

The Average Internet Speed In APAC: South Korea Tops the List

Working on the internet in South Korea is a bless, as the average speed of internet in the country has clocked 26.1 Mbps in Q4 2016, albeit a bit slower as compared to Q4 2015. Despite the decline, the average internet speed in South Korea is the fastest as compared to any other country.

From the Asia-Pacific region, four countries made to the list of Top 10 countries with the fastest average internet connectivity; Hong Kong at fourth position with 21.9 Mbps, Singapore at 8th position with 20.2 Mbps and Japan at 9th position with 19.6 Mbps connectivity made to the global list. Among all these four countries, Singapore has shown an impressive improvement in internet infrastructure in the last one year. From the 16th position in the list of Global ranking just a year back to 8th position in Q4 2016, Singapore has leapfrogged Japan in this quarter.

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The Average Internet Speed in India: 15 Mbps Is In High Demand

The average internet speed in India remains just 5.6 Mbps though, the internet infrastructure in the country is showing a great sign of reform, especially for the last one year. The Akamai report also highlights the growth in faster internet speed in India. Nearly 14% of the country’s IPv4 addresses connecting at an average connection speed of above 10 Mbps. The figure may look small but the growth of 116% in clearly depicts the flourishing scenario of internet and ecommerce industry in India.

More than 15Mbps average speed of the internet in India is still available to limited users, mostly residing in Metros. Only 7.3% of country’s IPv4 addresses connect at an average connection speed of above 15 Mbps. But the segment is showing massive improvement due to increasing demand for faster internet. In the last year the segment has recorded 622% year over year growth in the number of IPv4 connecting with the speed of above 15 Mbps.

The Flourishing Scenario in India: The Flip Side

With 460 million users, India is the largest country in the world by the number of internet users. The exploded adoption of smartphone and app ecosystem is further fueling the growth of the internet in the country. Despite all such encouraging scenarios internet speed in India is ‘abysmally slow’. In early last year IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed his concern on the disappointing internet infrastructure in India. He promised to lay down the guidelines for increasing the minimum broadband speed from 512kbps to 2 Mbps. TRAI, however, turned a blind eye to Mr. Prasad vision for reasons unknown and mandated that all wired broadband providers ensure the minimum speed of 512 kbps.

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