Ookla published its 2021 Speedtest Global Index, which compares the speeds of fixed and mobile internet in countries around the world to see how things have improved.
According to Ookla, global internet speeds have continued to increase rapidly since 2017. Fixed internet has gotten 31.9 percent faster year-over-year while mobile has increased 59.5 percent in the same time. Globally, mobile internet boasts a mean download speed of 55.07Mbps while fixed internet saw 107.50Mbps mean download speeds.
Looking further back, mobile download speeds were 98.9 percent faster in July 2021 compared to July 2019 and almost 200 percent faster compared to June 2017, when Ookla began tracking speeds on the Global Index. Interestingly, Ookla notes that over the last two years, there were only two months when the global average for mobile download speed didn’t show an upward slope: February and March 2020, which coincided with the start of COVID-19 lockdowns.
With fixed internet download speeds, July 2021 saw 68.2 percent faster speeds than 2019 and 196.1 percent faster speeds compared to June 2017. Fixed internet speeds saw a similar dip in speed in March 2020.
When it comes to the Top 10 rankings, things get a little interesting. First, Ookla put together Top 10 lists for both mobile and fixed internet across 2019, 2020 and 2021. Only one country managed to show up on both lists in 2021: South Korea.
Canada made it onto the Top 10 for mobile speed in 2019, placing sixth. In 2020, Canada dropped to eighth and fell off the list entirely in 2021. Ookla notes that Canada saw significant increases to mobile speeds over the last three years, but says that 5G has played a significant role in shifting the Top 10 rankings.
“Even countries with 5G (which few countries had in 2019) need a strong 5G focus to maintain their presence at the top of the list,” Ookla explained. Hopefully now that Canada has completed its 3,500MHz auction, we’ll finally see some real 5G benefits here (and perhaps a return to the Top 10 in 2022).
On the fixed internet side, Canada did not make it onto the Top 10 list in 2019, 2020 or 2021. It’s hardly a surprise, given Canada’s egregiously expensive internet plans.