State of the Internet: Mobile Web’s Explosive Growth

In 1999, it was the rapid growth of wired web services that was the top story. Fast-forward to today, and it’s the massive and seemingly unstoppable growth of the mobile Internet that’s all the rage. The demand for mobile Internet (and its subset, mobile web) is upending all expectations and predictions. Between Apple (s aapl) and Google (s goog), about 500,000 new portable Internet devices are getting connected to the Internet.

Planet Mobile

In its State of the Internet Report for the second quarter of 2010, Cambridge, Mass.-based content distribution network Akamai (s AKAM) notes there are 19 mobile carriers around the world offering connections with average real world speeds of over 6.1 Mbps, while 29 carriers have an average speeds of 1 Mbps.

Here are some interesting tidbits about mobile from the report, which is likely to be released tomorrow:

  • Five providers in Canada, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Germany, and Austria have users, who on average, consumed more than one gigabyte (1 GB) of content from Akamai per month during the second quarter. Speeds of these services vary, but the higher the speeds, higher the data consumption.
  • An additional 80 mobile providers around the world had more than 100 MB of data downloaded from Akamai per unique IP address per month during the second quarter of 2010.
  • A wireless carrier from United Kingdom was fastest in terms of peak average speeds during the quarter – 36.6 Mbps. A Slovakian carrier came in second with 20.20 Mbps, and a Russian mobile phone company clocked about 19 Mbps on their wireless networks. Russia was one of the first countries to launch WiMAX and LTE-based networks.
  • In the U.S., the top peak speed was about 3 Mbps and top average speed was 0.98 mbps.

Speeding It Up

On the wired Internet side, the continuous deployment of fiber-based broadband networks and new DOCSIS 3.0-based cable broadband networks is causing a sharp increase in broadband speeds in some parts of the world.  According to Akamai data, the average connection speed on a global basis was around 1.8 Mbps; up 6.1 percent from the second quarter of 2009, and up 3.8 percent from the second quarter of 2010. Here are some key observations about global broadband trends:

  • South Korea is the fastest country in the world with 17 Mbps as an average broadband speed, up 47 percent form second quarter of 2009. Hong Kong was second with 8.6 Mbps, while Japan came in at 8.0 Mbps.
  • The peak connection in South Korea was 38 Mbps versus 16 Mbps peak connection speeds in the U.S.
  • The United States had an average speed of 4.6 Mbps, up 1.8 percent from the second quarter of 2009 but down 1.8 percent from the first quarter of 2010.

Fastest Cities in The World

  • Masan, South Korea is still the fastest city in the world, and it did so by boosting its average speed to over 20 Mbps during the second quarter of 2010.
  • There are 20 cities across the planet which have average speeds in excess of 10 Mbps.
  • Asia dominates the top 100 cities list with 62 cities in Japan, 12 in South Korea and Hong Kong.
  • Europe accounted for 15 cities across eight countries, with Romania ranking highest with five cities in the top 100.
  • North America accounted for the final ten, with two in Canada and the remaining eight in the U.S. San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York are not on the list.

The American Broadband Story

  • The average broadband speed in the U.S. was around 4.6 Mbps, with Monterey Park, Calif. having the top average broadband speed of around 6.9 Mbps.
  • The peak speeds in the U.S. on an average were around 16 Mbps during second quarter 2010.
  • Delaware is inching toward nearly 100 percent broadband adoption mark.
  • Six other U.S. states have broadband adoption of 80 percent or higher.
  • The biggest growth was seen in West Virginia and Rhode Island, gaining 11 percent and 10 percent adoption respectively.
  • The biggest losses were seen in Iowa and Arizona, which declined 11 percent and 10 percent respectively.
  • Year-over-year changes were more significant, with 11 states posting double-digit increases, led by Alaska’s yearly growth of 44 percent.

Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d):