Australia has the fastest mobile broadband in the Asia-Pacific — faster than landline

The cheetah is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of 100kph. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

Next time your smartphone internet slows to a crawl on the train, remember that Australia now has the fastest mobile internet speeds in the Asia-Pacific.

Digital content delivery company Akamai’s latest quarterly survey showed Australia topping the Asia-Pacific league table for mobile connectivity, with an average speed of 13.8Mbps for the fourth quarter of 2016.

A typical residential ADSL service over the copper telephone line ranges from 1Mbps to 20Mbps, while the NBN offers 12Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps and 100Mbps tiers. Netflix recommends at least 3Mbps for a reasonable experience of its streaming services in standard definition, 5Mbps for high definition and 25Mbps for ultra-high definition.

Countries with far smaller territory to cover and higher population densities could not match Australia’s mobile performance – Japan averaged 13.3Mbps while South Korea came third with 12.7Mbps. New Zealand was not far behind, averaging 12.5Mbps.

Akamai noted in its report that rapid advances are being made on wireless broadband, with gigabit (greater than 1000Mbps) speeds being achieved in trial conditions around the world and in Australia.

The good news on mobile accompanies mixed results for Australia in landline speeds. The average non-mobile broadband speed in Australia reached double-digits for the first time, hitting 10.1Mbps in the latest Akamai State of Internet report, compared to 9.6Mbps in the previous quarter. However, the improvement was not enough to stop Australia falling behind in relation to other countries, with the nation’s global ranking falling from 50th to 51st.

The top 10 countries with the fastest average internet speeds. (Source: Akamai)

The NBN was quick to claim credit for the improvement in average speeds, pointing out that Australia’s speed had doubled in three years thanks to the rollout of its fibre network.

“In just over three years, the number of active end users on the NBN network has gone from less than 1% of households to more than 15% connected,” the NBN said in a statement. “In Akamai’s first quarter report in 2013, the average speed delivered in Australia was 4.7Mbps, while today’s report for the fourth quarter 2016 shows the average speed delivered of 10.1Mbps.”

Globally, 7Mbps was the average for all countries surveyed by Akamai for the fourth quarter of 2016. South Korea, at 26.1Mbps, again topped the league table — but its lead has narrowed since the last survey, with runners-up Norway and third place Sweden stepping up to reach 23.6Mbps and 22.8Mbps respectively.

Australia featured in the middle of the pack against other Asia-Pacific nations. South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan all featured in the top 10 with speeds of at least 19Mbps, while Taiwan (19th), Thailand (31st) and New Zealand (34th) all had average speeds faster than Australia.

Internet speed ranking for countries in the Asia-Pacific. (Source: Akamai)