SINGAPORE -- Asia-Pacific already boasts some of the fastest internet connectivity in the world and continues to improve as its economies digitize, according to a report by Akamai, a U.S.-based content delivery network and cloud provider.
Akamai's quarterly State of the Internet report covers connection speeds and broadband adoption metrics across both fixed and mobile networks, and elucidates emerging trends.
Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries and regions surveyed had average connection speeds above 4 Mbps, with South Korea at the forefront with 28.6 Mbps -- the world leader. Eight countries surveyed had already achieved speeds better than 10 Mbps in the first quarter of 2017, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Vietnam with 9.5 Mbps placing it 58th in global rankings continues to improve as the government strives for digitization. Viettel Group, the country's leading telecom, announced plans in March to provide fourth-generation (4G) network coverage to 99% of populated areas by the second quarter of this year. With 63 million subscribers, it said its 4G network will soon extend to remote communes, border areas, and islands. Vietnam with a population of 93 million already has 140 million mobile subscriptions.
Other emerging Asian economies are also challenging developed countries in terms of connectivity and broadband penetration. India and the Philippines in particular are pushing hard from low bases.
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines approved a plan in March to roll out a national broadband network at an estimated cost exceeding $1.5 billion. It will host a national portal with government online services, and connect to remote areas.
Some Asian countries not included in the Akamai survey are also on the move. In late May, Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) began 4G mobile data transmissions in Myanmar's three largest cities: Mandalay, Naypyidaw, and Yangon. The government has also allocated 1800 megahertz frequency spectrums to Qatar's Ooredoo, Norway's Telenor, and Myanmar National Tele and Communications, a joint venture with Vietnam's Viettel.