The Mobile Broadband reality by Akamai

Akamai, the leading CDN, has just released Q1 2010 report on the state of the Internet [July 23] which contains quite interesting actual information on average and average maximum connection speeds from 109 mobile carriers around the world. Only networks where Akamai believes that the entire system is mobile were included.

Note: Akamai defines these speeds as follows:

The “average maximum connection speed” metric represents an average of the maximum measured connection speeds across all of the unique IP addresses seen by Akamai from a particular geography. The average is used in order to mitigate the impact of unrepresentative maximum measured connection speeds. In contrast to the average measured connection speed, the average maximum connection speed metric is more representative of what many end-user Internet connections are capable of. (This includes the application of so-called speed boosting technologies that may be implemented within the network by providers, in order to deliver faster download speeds for some larger files.)

Akamai considers a provider having broadband level service when the average connection speed is more than 2 Mbps. From this point of view it is quite interesting that the countries mentioned as being in the forefront of 3.75G (HSPA+) and 3.9G (LTE) implementation (see: “4G” WiMAX vs. 3.75G HSPA+ [July 24] and WiMAX/WiBro <=> TD-LTE and LTE in general [June 28]) had in Q1 much less than that “broadband level” average connection speeds. Moreover, out of 7 results 6 are somewhat lower than 1 Mbps and only one is somewhat higher than 1 Mbps:

Country Provider Average (Kbps) Maximum Average (Kbps)
Japan JP-1 946 4180
Norway ND-1 867 3121
ND-2 867 3121
ND-2 1186 3875
United States US-1 846 1912
US-2 829 2103
US-3 979 2496

Please note that Akamai is not providing the names of providers. Considering their “mobile only” rule for inclusion it is obvious that Japan’s one entry could very likely be NTT DOCOMO (because it is the largest), as well as that one Norway’s two entries could probably be Telenor. At the same time it is quite obvious that TeliaSonera is definitely missing here since there is no entry for Sweden (and also because TeliaSonera is not a “mobile only” company). On the other hand it is quite obvious that Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US  could well be one of the three US “mobile only” operators included into the Akamai report. (Note: Akamai has included only 3 operators when in a country were more than that.)

It is also interesting to compare these countries in the forefront of 3.75G-3.9G to less well developed countries. I’ve chosen for that the so called Eastern European countries and added to them Austria being in quite close geographic proximity. In addition marked those which were above the numbers of “forefront countries’” with red-ink. As one could see there are quite a few cases when the numbers are higher.

Country Provider Average (Kbps) Maximum Average (Kbps)
Austria AT-1 2553 10769
AT-2 1886 6292
Croatia HR-1 931 3567
Czech Republic CZ-1 626 2588
CZ-2 415 2024
CZ-3 1320 3561
Estonia EE-1 611 2775
Hungary HU-1 1145 5315
HU-2 1280 5037
Lithuania LT-1 1203 5516
LT-2 760 3205
Moldova MD-1 730 2858
MD-2 1269 4907
Poland PL-1 3444 10298
PL-2 750 2947
PL-3 508 2637
Romania RO-1 375 1899
Russia RU-1 4248 13686
RU-2 586 1933
RU-3 498 1570
Slovakia SK-1 105 418
SK-2 2225 6112
SK-3 7175 20394
Slovenia Sl-1 1074 5514
Ukraine UA-1 175 569

Akamai has noted this as well when doing worldwide evaluation of the results when one Slovak provider (SK-3) came atop (they have excluded the UK-3 provider having the highest result “due to their suspected usage of a mobile gateway architecture, which inflated their calculated per IP address usage”). Akamai has made the following remark related to that:

However, it must be noted that a number of mobile network providers make heavy use of mobile gateways and proxies that will result in higher average and average maximum speeds being calculated by Akamai, as these speeds reflect gateway/proxy-to-Akamai communications rather than mobile device-to-Akamai communications. (These top providers may be making use of such an architecture.) Akamai is investigating methods of mitigating the impact of these gateways/proxies on the source data sets that will be used for future editions of the State of the Internet report.

Let’s see the what kind of networks those Eastern European providers have:

• Austria: 1 with HSPA+ @ 42 Mbps, 1 with HSPA+ @ 21Mbps, 2 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (all with HSUPA)
• Croatia: 1 with HSPA+ @ 21Mbps, 1 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps, 1 with HSDPA @ 1.8 Mbps (the first two with HSUPA)
• Czech Republic: 1 with HSPA @ 14.4 Mbps, 2 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (two with HSUPA)
• Estonia: 2 with HSPA+ @ 21Mbps, 2 with 1 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (the first two with HSUPA)
• Hungary: 1 with HSPA @ 14.4 Mbps, 1 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (all three with HSUPA)
• Lithuania: 3 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (tw0 with HSUPA)
• Moldova: 1 with HSPA+ @ 21Mbps, 1 with HSPA @ 14.4 Mbps, 1 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (the first one with HSUPA)
• Poland: 3 with HSPA+ @ 21Mbps, 2 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (four with HSUPA)
• Romania: 2 with HSPA+ @ 21Mbps, 2 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps (three with HSUPA)
• Russia: 1 with HDSPA @ 7.2 Mbps,  1 with HDSPA @ 3.6 Mbps, 1 with HDSPA @ 1.8 Mbps (none with HSUPA)
• Slovakia: 2 with HDSPA @ 1.8 Mbps (one with HSUPA)
• Slovenia: 1 with HSPA @ 7.2 Mbps, 1 with HDSPA @ 3.6 Mbps, 1 with HDSPA @ 1.8 Mbps (the first one with HSUPA)
• Ukraine: 1 with HDSPA @ 3.6 Mbps
Source: HSPA Operator Commitments survey by GSA [June 30] (registration required)

Please note that only those marked with red-ink have mobile technologies which might explain their (sometimes much) better results.

Final conclusion? Only one I could draw from this: the current networks of “forefront countries” should indeed be more congested than some of the mobile networks of even Eastern European countries. This means that they should indeed be in the forefront of 3.75G and 3.9G adoption!


About Nacsa Sándor

Lazure Kft. • infokommunikációs felhő szakértés • high-tech marketing • elérhetőség: Okleveles villamos és automatizálási mérnök (1971) Munkahelyek: Microsoft, EMC, Compaq és Digital veterán. Korábban magyar cégek (GDS Szoftver, Computrend, SzáMOK, OLAJTERV). Jelenleg Lazure Kft. Amire szakmailag büszke vagyok (időrendben visszafelé): – Microsoft .NET 1.0 … .NET 3.5 és Visual Studio Team System bevezetések Magyarországon (2000 — 2008) – Digital Alpha technológia vezető adatközponti és vállalati szerver platformmá tétele (másokkal együttes csapat tagjaként) Magyarországon (1993 — 1998) – Koncepcionális modellezés (ma használatos elnevezéssel: domain-driven design) az objektum-orientált programozással kombinált módon (1985 — 1993) – Poszt-graduális képzés a miniszámítógépes szoftverfejlesztés, konkurrens (párhuzamos) programozás és más témákban (1973 — 1984) Az utóbbi időben általam művelt területek: ld. (Experiencing the Cloud) – Predictive strategies based on the cyclical nature of the ICT development (also based on my previous findings during the period of 1978 — 1990) – User Experience Design for the Cloud – Marketing Communications based on the Cloud
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One Response to The Mobile Broadband reality by Akamai

  1. Pingback: IMT-Advanced (4G) for the next-generations of interactive mobile services, China is triumphant | Experiencing the Cloud

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