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The US-based company Ookla which analyzes the speed of internet connection has published the report regarding the internet speed for the month of April, 2020. This time Nepal dropped eight places to 118th on Ookla’s Global Speedtest Index for fixed broadband speeds in April. Likewise, Nepal’s ranking improved quite well for mobile broadband as the internet speed increased from 10.32 Mbps last year to 14.35 Mbps this year.
The fixed broadband speed in Nepal has decreased as compared to the past which could be due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Ookla ranked Nepal in the 118th position with an average fixed broadband speed of 17.97 Mbps in the month of April. Nepal plummeted eight positions in the world rankings from the preceding month. Nepal’s mobile broadband speeds have improved greatly with the rapid expansion of 4G networks from Nepal Telecom and Ncell. The country’s ranking for mobile broadband is in increasing trend since the expansion of reliable 4G network throughout the nation.
Companies like WorldLink, Vianet, Nepal Telecom, Subisu, and others are providing broadband internet connection to Nepali customers. WorldLink is the biggest fixed-line broadband supplier in Nepal with an extensive network of fiber-optic lines. Even now, there are more than 1 lakh users who use ADSL for the home internet. ADSL service in Nepal now just has a maximum of 5 Mbps, which is below the average speed of Nepal.
The extensive use of the internet and speed test during the time of lockdown can be taken as the major source for the decreased speed of fixed broadband. You can read about the challenges of ISPs in this COVID-19 lockdown.
The consumption of the internet has increased by almost 40 percent in Nepal with the entire population restricted in their home, and the increased network traffic means more deliberate connections. As per the report, fixed broadband internet speed in Nepal decreased by 15 percent whereas the global fixed internet saw a change of almost 0.25 percent.
For some perspective, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are the southeast countries ahead of Nepal in the ranking. India stayed in the same position of 71 with an average speed of 35.84 Mbps whereas Sri Lanka dropped to 102nd position with an average speed of 23.15 Mbps. Similarly Bhutan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are following Nepal with a position of 128, 157, and 162 respectively.
While it comes to Mobile internet, Nepal is progressing very well with an average growth of 4Mbps per year in recent years. The major mobile broadband provider is Nepal Telecom with the highest market share of mobile internet subscribers, which is followed by Ncell. NTC and Ncell are the biggest players in Nepal with extensive 4G coverage throughout the nation. With the recent upgrade of 4G speed by Nepal Telecom, we can now get a mobile data speeds up to 70 Mbps. Ncell is also providing a very stable and reliable 4G internet of similar speed in major city areas. Smart Cell provides 4G connectivity with limited coverage in Nepal.
There is an improvement in average mobile download speed with the country jumping up five places from 116th in March to 111th last month. The download speed average at 14.35 Mbps in April compared to 14.22 Mbps in March. The global average download speed for the month of April is 30.89 Mbps.
Among South Asian countries, Nepal is now at the 2nd position topping India (132nd), Pakistan (112nd), Bangladesh (130th), Afghanistan (139th), and Sri Lanka (115th) in mobile broadband in April. The Maldives came first in the region, taking the 66th spot with an average speed of 27.08 Mbps.
Singapore (average speed 198.46 Mbps) and Hong King SAR (176.70 Mbps) retained the top two spots for April in the broadband segment. Thailand gained one place and is now third, followed by Switzerland, Romania, and Monaco. The global average speed is 74.74 Mbps, up from 74.63 Mbps in March and more than four times the average speed in Nepal.
In terms of mobile internet speed, South Korea(average speed 88.01 Mbps) and Qatar(84.81) are in the top two spots for the month of April. China, UAE, and the Netherlands are respectively in the top 5 positions followed by Canada, Bulgaria, and Norway. The growth of mobile internet speed in these nations with top speed seems to be due to the deployment of high-speed 5G internet. Looking at the population size of China, this is a very impressive growth in mobile internet speed.
According to the Ookla website, it says data for the index comes from the billions of tests taken by actual internet users throughout the world using Speedtest application every month. Ookla has an extensive and large testing infrastructure with over 7,000 servers in more than 190 countries in the world.
The company says it does not need to manipulate or change the data to fill in gaps because its applications collect data “from every possible position and every type of device at all hours of the day”. To appear in the list, countries must perform at least 300 individual user test results for mobile or fixed broadband in the listed month.