There are nearly 700 million unique IPv4 addresses from 240 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform in the fourth quarter of 2012. This represents 4.2 per cent more than in the third quarter of 2012, and 13 per cent more than in the fourth quarter of 2011. Given that a single IP address can represent multiple individuals in some cases, Akamai estimates the total number of unique Web users connecting to its platform during the quarter to be well over one billion.
Reviewing year-over-year changes in European countries appearing in the top 10 country/region listing, the report reveals growth levels ranging from double digit growth of 21 per cent in Italy (ranked #9 globally) to the more modest growth of 7.6 per cent in the UK (ranked #5), 4.3 per cent in France (ranked #6), and 3 per cent in Germany (ranked #4).
European Broadband Connectivity: Switzerland and the Netherlands continue to lead the European pack
In the fourth quarter of 2012, European broadband connections to Akamai at speeds of 4 Mbps or greater remained extremely strong with adoption rates exceeding 45 per cent in most European countries. Switzerland (ranked #2 globally) and the Netherlands (ranked #3 globally) jointly top the European leader board with 82 per cent of all connections at 4 Mbps or above, followed by the Czech Republic (ranked #6 globally) with 72 per cent. Year-over-year changes were generally positive across all surveyed countries in the EMEA region, with the exception of Turkey and Italy – both down 0.2 per cent.
High broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption continued apace; during the fourth quarter of 2012 more than half of the European countries had 10 per cent or more of their connections to Akamai at speeds above 10 Mbps. Switzerland tops the European leader board with 23 per cent of connections above 10 Mbps, followed by the Netherlands with 21 per cent, and Sweden with 19 per cent.
European countries also achieved positive year-over-year changes in average peak connection speeds, with growth in excess of 10 per cent being seen in all countries. Impressive year-on-year increases were observed in the UK (up 44 per cent to 30.5 Mbps), Spain (up 40 per cent to 27.8 Mbps) and Austria (up 40 per cent to 25.9 Mbps). Ireland had the smallest year-over-year change (up 12 per cent to 27 Mbps).
Romania had the fastest European average peak connection speed for the quarter (42.6 Mbps), followed by Switzerland (34.2 Mbps) and Belgium (33.4 Mbps).
“Looking back across the year, we observed strong growth of our key connectivity metrics around the world. We believe that this points to greater availability of broadband connectivity, as well as increased speeds on those connections. This is supported as well by the long-term trends observed over the five-year history of the State of the Internet Report,” explained David Belson, the report’s editor. “This combination of improved broadband availability and higher speeds opens the door for greater innovation in how the Internet is used by both businesses and individuals around the globe.”
Mobile Connectivity: Austrian mobile provider delivers fastest average connection speeds
The fourth quarter of 2012 saw average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network operators range from a high of just over 8.0 Mbps to a low of 345 Kbps. An Austrian mobile provider posted a nearly 9 per cent quarter-over-quarter increase in average connection speed, growing to just over 8.0 Mbps and taking the top spot as the mobile network provider with the highest average connection speed.
Examining the average peak connection speed data for the quarter, a Spanish provider achieved an impressive 32 per cent quarter-over-quarter increase to 44 Mbps, displacing the previous leader – a Russian provider – to take the top spot.
Mobile devices using Android Webkit accounted for the largest per centage of requests (35.3 per cent) of devices on cellular networks connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform. Devices using Apple Mobile Safari represented 32.6 per cent. When analyzed across all network types, the ratios were markedly different with Apple Mobile Safari accounting for 58.7 per cent of requests and Android Webkit responsible for 21.7 per cent.
Average Peak Connection Speed
Sweden’s fourth quarter average peak connection speeds of 28.4 Mbps, bolstered by a 5.3 per cent quarter-over-quarter increase, continued to place it firmly ahead of the rest of the Nordic region. Finland and Denmark were in close competition (26.5 Mbps and 26.1Mbps) while Norway remained in 4th place with average peak connection speeds of 24.8 Mbps, despite a 7.3 per cent quarter-over-quarter increase.
Average Connection Speed
The Nordic ranking for average connection speeds experienced some shake-up in the fourth quarter. Having held #1 position for the previous two quarters, Denmark dropped to #3 with an average connection speed of 7 Mbps, outranked by Finland (#2 with 7.1 Mbps) who, in turn, was overtaken by Sweden for the #1 spot, boasting an average connection speed of 7.3 Mbps (up 7.4 per cent from the third quarter).
High Broadband Connectivity
Similar disruptions were witnessed in the region’s high broadband connectivity. Crashing from first place in the last quarter’s rankings to #4, Denmark suffered a 14 per cent drop in adoption, the second largest quarterly decline in the EMEA region. In contrast, the remaining three countries all experienced two-digit increases in the rate of their high broadband connectivity. The greatest of these was Sweden who replaced Denmark as #1 with a 16 per cent improvement from Q3, followed by Finland (#2 with 13 per cent) and Norway (#3 with 12 per cent).