If you want to know the current state of 5G networks across the globe, the connectivity intelligence firm Ookla has dropped some new insights. Its latest “State of Worldwide Connectivity” report says there was a 20% increase in median global 5G download speed in Q3 2023. The firm recorded a median global 5G download speed of 203.04 Mbps in Q3 2023 and saw a substantial increase when compared to 168.27 Mbps in Q3 2022. In addition, users who witnessed the top 10% of 5G download speeds globally saw an increase of 9%, rising from 525.54 Mbps (Q3 2022) to 573.12 Mbps (Q3 2023). However, this time, the top spot shifted from South Korea to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with Malaysia, India, and the Dominican Republic making “significant strides,” the firm noted. The top 10 list also includes Malaysia, Qatar, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Kuwait, Macau, Singapore, and India. The current leader UAE witnessed a 14% increase in its median 5G download speed. Its numbers jumped from 511.68 Mbps in Q3 2022 to 592.01 Mbps in Q3 2023. Meanwhile, the second spot holder South Korea reached 507.59 Mbps in median 5G download speeds in the third quarter. Ookla says one of the key contributors to UAE’s success is the “fierce market competition driven by Etisalat and du,” which resulted in improved 5G coverage across the nation. This growing competition was one of the reasons as well, with median download speed reaching 557.63 Mbps. The firm noted that half of the top 10 countries in 2022 were from the Middle East, and now, the Asia Pacific region represents the same proportion. While 5G is capable of delivering peak data rates of up to 20 Gbps, its real-world “speeds have not yet reached Gigabit levels, primarily because of network economics.” “For instance, symmetrical download, upload speeds, and ultra-low latency haven’t been realized, partially because the vast majority of 5G networks are not ‘true 5G’ as they have been deployed in Non-Standalone (NSA) mode, meaning they rely on a 4G LTE network core,” Ookla said. On the flip side, the median 5G upload speed saw a minimal 1% rise when put against last year’s data. The report also talks about performance gains on wired fixed connections globally. Fixed broadband connections, although lesser in magnitude compared to 5G, saw a similar jump. Delivering a 19% increase, fixed networks reached a global median speed of 83.95 Mbps in Q3 2023, up from 70.30 Mbps in Q3 2022. United Arab Emirates is taking the lead here as well with a median download speed of 247.63 Mbps. Ookla said that despite developments in the underlying broadband technologies, WiFi often acts as a bottleneck that reduces customer experience. Our research has shown that Wi-Fi performance can lag behind ethernet in markets where advanced cable and fiber connections are replacing legacy broadband technology (such as DSL or coax cable). Wi-Fi speeds typically range from 30-40% of ethernet, indicating a need to accelerate the adoption of more advanced Wi-Fi technologies and optimize the home network environment. Source:

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