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2022 vs 2021 – UK Broadband and Mobile Speeds vs the World

Thursday, Dec 29th, 2022 (12:01 am) - Score 3,120
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Once again, we’re ending this year by taking a look back to see how the United Kingdom’s position, at least in terms of the top 50 fastest countries for both fixed broadband ISP and mobile (4G, 5G) data speeds, has changed since 2021. The UK fell from 35th to 44th for mobile and from 50th to 56th for fixed lines.

The report below was created by tracking the publicly available data released by Ookla, which runs the popular Speedtest.net service for benchmarking internet connections around the world. In our experience, the company’s performance data has tended to weight more toward the optimistic side, but for the purpose of this article that isn’t such a concern because it applies equally to every country in the table.

The main differentiator for speeds between countries tends to stem from the balance between network availability and the take-up of faster connection types. For example, countries with a high availability of gigabit-capable broadband networks (FTTP, DOCSIS 3.1 – 4.0 etc.) or strong 5G mobile availability (with plenty of radio spectrum to harness) will usually rank highest in the table.

In terms of the UK, we’ve seen a strong and continuous improvement in the availability of both faster fixed and mobile networks. For example, Ofcom recently revealed (here) that 1Gbps capable fixed broadband networks had reached 70% (up from 47% last year), which falls to 42% when only looking at full fibre / FTTP lines (up from 28%). Similarly, both EE and Three UK have extended 5G to reach more than 50% of the population, with other operators expected to follow in 2023.

Top 50 Fastest Countries for Broadband in 2022

Overall we can see from the data below that fixed and mobile broadband speeds have continued to improve across the world but, despite big improvements in UK full fibre and 5G coverage, other countries still seem able to improve their real-world speeds at a faster pace. Part of this may be because the domestic UK take-up of full fibre and gigabit broadband lines is still in the early phase of growth (take-up often lags behind new network build and takes time to grow). We’ve summarised some of the key changes below.

Performance Categories 2022 2021
UK Country Rank (Median) for Fixed Line 56th 50th
UK Country Rank (Median) for Mobile 44th 35th
Median Global Latency – Fixed Line 10ms 10ms
Median Global Latency – Mobile 28ms 29ms
Median Global Upload – Fixed Line 31.16Mbps 23.56Mbps
Median Global Upload – Mobile 9.05Mbps 8.38Mbps
Median Global Download – Fixed Line 72.40Mbps 56.09Mbps
Median Global Download – Mobile 33.43Mbps 28.61Mbps
Median UK Latency – Fixed Line 14ms 15ms
Median UK Latency – Mobile 36ms 35ms
Median UK Upload – Fixed Line 18.55Mbps 16.74Mbps
Median UK Upload – Mobile 7.33Mbps 8.10Mbps
Median UK Download – Fixed 69.76Mbps 56.70Mbps
Median UK Download – Mobile 45.57Mbps 44.49Mbps

Otherwise, the following tables show how the countries compare, using only download speed as the key measure, across the top 50 countries. Sadly, Ookla doesn’t make it easy to do the same table for uploads or latency.

NOTE: Data gathered at the same time in late November each year – using a “median” average.

Fastest 50 Countries for Fixed Broadband Speed (DL)

  Country (2022) Mbps Country (2021) Mbps
1 Singapore  219.57 Singapore  188.11
2 Chile  219.34 Thailand  173.44
3 China  203.5 Hong Kong (SAR)  170.48
4 Hong Kong (SAR)  198.24 Chile  163.49
5 Thailand  196.46 Denmark  146.64
6 United States  182.63 United States  131.16
7 Denmark  174.67 Monaco  130.73
8 United Arab Emirates  166.53 China  129.45
9 Japan  165.53 Romania  122.3
10 Macau (SAR)  159.8 Macau (SAR)  119.24
11 Spain  157.31 Spain  118.25
12 Romania  155.07 Switzerland  108.97
13 Switzerland  143.46 Andorra  102.19
14 Monaco  142.03 Norway  102.09
15 France  139.73 United Arab Emirates  101.76
16 New Zealand  134.19 South Korea  98.67
17 Canada  127.54 Liechtenstein  98.03
18 Hungary  119.36 Moldova  97.37
19 Taiwan  119.03 Sweden  96.8
20 Liechtenstein  118.07 Hungary  95.18
21 Netherlands  117.74 Netherlands  94.77
22 Portugal  116.57 Canada  93.89
23 Andorra  115.39 Portugal  93.59
24 Panama  110.96 New Zealand  92.05
25 Kuwait  110.07 Luxembourg  91.77
26 Norway  106.3 Japan  91.25
27 Moldova  105.22 Panama  91.24
28 Sweden  105.01 France  90.41
29 South Korea  99.87 Taiwan  89.49
30 Uruguay  97.48 Kuwait  85.92
31 Brazil  95.95 Finland  84.09
32 Poland  95.59 Poland  83.97
33 Israel  95.54 Malta  83.58
34 Luxembourg  93.95 Israel  83.57
35 Finland  93.79 Lithuania  80.76
36 Malta  92.27 Saudi Arabia  79.39
37 Lithuania  91.5 Brazil  78.16
38 Malaysia  90.24 Belgium  76.55
39 Saint Lucia  87.67 Trinidad and Tobago  73.07
40 Qatar  87.33 Malaysia  72.97
41 Colombia  87.24 Barbados  70.74
42 Belgium  85.31 Germany  64.94
43 Saudi Arabia  85.1 Vietnam  64.67
44 Trinidad and Tobago  82.94 Ireland  64.11
45 Barbados  81.92 Russia  61.7
46 Dominica  79.83 San Marino  61.52
47 Vietnam  78.87 Slovenia  61.23
48 Slovenia  78.81 Qatar  60.73
49 Germany  77.34 Latvia  57.85
50 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  76.86 United Kingdom  56.7

Fastest 50 Countries for Mobile Speed (DL)

  Country (2022) Mbps Country (2021) Mbps
1 United Arab Emirates  138.82 United Arab Emirates  130.19
2 Norway  129.81 Norway  107.5
3 Qatar  126.03 South Korea  98.93
4 South Korea  125.17 Qatar  92.83
5 China  113.5 Netherlands  91.66
6 Netherlands  109.45 Saudi Arabia  87.66
7 Denmark  109.29 Bulgaria  83.71
8 Bulgaria  106.88 Cyprus  81.41
9 Kuwait  102.73 Switzerland  80.45
10 Saudi Arabia  97.81 Australia  79.24
11 Brunei  97.37 China  78.61
12 Australia  87.76 Kuwait  77.06
13 Luxembourg  83.14 Croatia  76.92
14 Switzerland  82.91 Denmark  75.84
15 Bahrain  82.67 Luxembourg  72.85
16 Sweden  82.1 Canada  70.33
17 Finland  76.27 Singapore  68.32
18 Canada  74.77 Brunei  62.3
19 Croatia  74.35 Finland  58.68
20 Singapore  74.19 Sweden  58.26
21 Macau (SAR)  73.67 United States  53.2
22 North Macedonia  73.62 Estonia  53.12
23 United States  72.34 France  52.7
24 Lithuania  67.1 Germany  51.81
25 Cyprus  66.33 Taiwan  51.67
26 Taiwan  65.93 Austria  51.17
27 New Zealand  63.15 Greece  48.88
28 Portugal  62.19 North Macedonia  48.76
29 Austria  61.25 Belgium  48.54
30 Hong Kong (SAR)  61.12 Maldives  48.46
31 Maldives  61.09 Lithuania  48.24
32 Greece  60.57 Oman  46.54
33 France  60.54 Slovenia  44.56
34 Belgium  59.68 Bahrain  44.52
35 Estonia  58.59 United Kingdom  44.49
36 Montenegro  57.36 Albania  44.12
37 Germany  57.27 Hong Kong (SAR)  43.88
38 Slovenia  54.3 New Zealand  43.44
39 Malta  50.68 Serbia  42.78
40 Oman  50.03 Macau (SAR)  42.57
41 Serbia  47.78 Malta  41.76
42 Suriname  46.09 Czechia  41.32
43 Latvia  45.99 Japan  40.51
44 United Kingdom  45.57 Poland  39.52
45 Slovakia  43.95 Portugal  39.1
46 Iran  42.95 Hungary  36.67
47 Japan  42.93 Iraq  36.56
48 Czechia  42.24 Montenegro  36.21
49 Hungary  42.11 Vietnam  35.33
50 Romania  40.62 Italy  35.31
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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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35 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Phil says:

    not surpised as uk not in the top 50 for fixed line fastest broadband – why is this?

    1. Avatar photo Phil says:


    2. Avatar photo Jerry says:

      Sadly, Ookla doesn’t make it easy to do the same table for uploads,otherwise the rank of U.K is even lower in the upload speed than the download speed!

  2. Avatar photo ian barker says:

    I can get 5mbps on a good day. Poor show UK government and too many broken promises Scottish Government with the R100 programme.

  3. Avatar photo Gina Ward says:

    About what you would expect from a 10th rate country that is the UK of 2022

    1. Avatar photo Off you pop then says:

      Feel free to leave any time you like.

  4. Avatar photo Andrew Campling says:

    Given that over 70% of us have access to gigabit speeds (source Thinkbroadband), the U.K. average is primarily about the purchase decisions that we are making as consumers rather than about the broadband infrastructure. If we all purchased the fastest available service, we’d easily top the table with average download speeds of 571 Mbps (again source Thinkbroadband).

  5. Avatar photo Anuraj says:

    Very slow roll out on fixed fibre broadband. Open reach won’t complete their rollout until 2050.

    Open reach target date is useless.

    We are not using full use of 5g. Still 4g rollout not complete.

    1. Avatar photo Doubleagent2022 says:

      Blame Donald trump when his was president and Oliver dowden and his cronies why slow roll outs .

  6. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    These stats are meaningless and don’t make much sense in isolation; For example China comes third in the “Fastest 50 Countries for Fixed Broadband Speed”, does this mean the whole of China has access to speeds up to 203.5Mbps, including Rural and suburban outskirts of major China cities? What is the affordability for Broadband in countries like Chile and China, and how does that affect take up? What is the core Network bandwidth usage for the various countries and is fast broadband only available to certain demographic segments?
    Would the UK come in the top 10 if they offered say 10Gbps in one street in every city? To suggest the UK is 56th in World rankings, with China third, discredits the data in my opinion.

    1. Avatar photo MilesT says:

      Agreed, the US for example has a large number of subscribers who can’t get higher speed broadband using any terrestrial connection (only starting to get via 4G/5G sometimes or satellite), and therefore the stats should be weighted to take that into account.

      Also would be interesting to see cost per MBps for high speed, adjusted for purchasing power parity (the economist magazine “Big Mac” measure of PPP feels like the right PPP measure–how many Mbps would you get for the cost of a McDonalds Big Mac in each country). Some countries would fare poorly on this measure.

    2. Avatar photo JHo1 says:

      Dead right. 5 people in Vietnam can get 83Mbps, the other 102 million can’t get a connection and couldn’t afford it if they could. And fools come on here to slag off Britain.

    3. Avatar photo spurple says:

      You need to look up what the meaning of “median” is on Wikipedia.

      Just because the UK doesn’t top the charts doesn’t mean that the UK is being slagged off. China is a richer country than the UK so is it so surprising that the median broadband speed is higher than the UK?

      I was rather impressed by how much France improved in the fixed broadband speeds.

    4. Avatar photo Jho1 says:

      Oh dear. You don’t get it do you? I’m well aware of what median means, I don’t need Wikipedia. These tables are measuring the speeds that people can get. Those people who can’t get a connection are not counted. The median (since you’ve looked it up) income in Vietnam (to take just one country as an example) is USD 3149 pa. How many of the people in Vietnam do you suppose can afford a connection, and something to use it, on that sort of income? But they’re not counted in this report, only the handful of people who have a connection are. Think about it.

    5. Avatar photo Tom Eric says:

      Not going to lie but China has a speedy broadband expansion. They already have good LTE coverage. And in past few years, they use FTTC and IPTV to improve television coverage in rural areas, instead relying on technology like Freeview. This also helps to increase the coverage of internet in rural area.

    6. Avatar photo Jerry says:

      China has 0.587 B broadband subscribers and 1.41 B population,so the Penetration rate of broadband in China is higher than U.K.
      Why has the developing in the deploying of fiber in U.K recenly? the competition from China!

  7. Avatar photo Angle D says:

    Very poor show by the ISP’s
    A bunch of greedy capitalist a-holes.
    The government don’t help either. Giving away tax payers money to ISP’s who don’t deliver.
    A disgrace and you lot let them get away with it.

    1. Avatar photo bla bla blah says:

      I suppose you’d run some sort of communist ISP that charges nothing? And zero taxpayer money has been given to ISPs to do nothing. Why are there so many whingers on this forum?

  8. Avatar photo henry says:

    Denmark was a first mover on DOCSIS 3.1 (full deployment). Half the country got access to 1 Gbps down/500 Mbps up between 2016 (mid) and 2018 (end).

  9. Avatar photo Disgruntled from Dankshire says:

    Ah the result of Government interference, the country could have been up there with South Korea.

  10. Avatar photo Martin says:

    Not sure how accurate the sampling is. When I am happy with my speed (under FTTP) I don’t bother. Back when I had FTTC, ADSL and even ADSL I did run speedtests.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      There are people out there that can’t get even FTTC, in fact I know a household who was still on dial up until recently as it was better than the ADSL connection they had, they have now gone to mobile broadband.

      This is what needs to be sorted first, but sadly BT and other companies over build each other just to get money. Openreach because they are the main network provider should be forced to get decent broadband to everyone, and I don’t mean superfast broadband, just a decent speed, so it can be used.

      I have the choice of FTTP via two networks now, openreach spent money of putting fibre here when we already have a fibre network instead of spending the money to help people with poor broadband.
      Scared to lose out Openreach is,

  11. Avatar photo Doubleagent2022 says:

    Blame Oliver dowden Tory mp and his cronies the tories getting rid HUAWEI 5g infrastructure by bow downing to Donald trump ex useless waste of space president orange man .for the slow 5G rollout

    The tories and Oliver dowden Tory mp and his pathetic waste of space useless government and trump why 5G sucks as every single HUAWEI equipment got to ripped out of our 5G network by 2027 because of “security risks” by china what a load of BS.so 5G rollout fully out by 2035 .

    1. Avatar photo Unhappy drugreference guy says:

      How much do Wuamo get paid?

  12. Avatar photo I don't believe it! says:

    Should never have gone down the China line (pardon the pun). Whilst I can understand big business selling their soul to the devil, the Government has to protect the country.
    You can not trust the Chinese state. It is shameful/ignorant that posters on here think we should.

  13. Avatar photo Mark says:

    Question – take away their speed tester, and would the average domestic user be able to tell whether they were on 200 Mb/s or 50 Mb/s?

    “Surveys” like this are completely meaningless for determining typical broadband performance. It’s a self-selecting group of users who already have broadband and are interested in its speed. That’s all it is, and it’s ridiculous to treat it an anything other than that.

  14. Avatar photo Ian says:

    Seems to confirm that Openreach and their stopgap FTTC obsession did a lot of damage just as people predicted.

    Never reached enough people and significantly delayed the rollout of real FTTP, now it’s about catching up and to their credit (combined with giant piles of money from multiple governments) they are actually building out FTTP beyond towns and cities.

    Still, damage done and VDSL was not the solution it was marketed as.

    1. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      The UK was a world leader in superfast availability after VDSL/FTTC build was done.

      I take it you were one of the less than 5% not covered by it?

    2. Avatar photo Disgruntled from Dankshire says:


      The UK was a world leader in superfast availability after VDSL/FTTC build was done.

      Citation please

      PS I am one of the 5% enjoying sub-standard broadband, and paying (subsidising) those getting superfast speeds, why OR&BDUK screwed up.

    3. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      You’re as capable as I am of using Google, Dankshire, though https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/telecoms-research/broadband-research/eu-bbroadand-scorecard and this very site are good places to start. My recollection is of a report highlighted here showing the UK second in the then EU28.

      I’m not getting into the subsidy thing. We have been down this road before and last time you admonished me with that food needs to be grown somewhere so, even though you aren’t involved in that, you are entitled to subsidised Internet.

    4. Avatar photo Disgruntled from Dankshire says:

      Yes its rather sad, other examples spring to mind where the British Isles invented stuff, only to let it degrade,
      railways for one. Google (other web searchers are available) for Dr Peter Cochrane, former Chief Technology Officer at BT to see how the UK lost the broadband race way back in the 90s.

  15. Avatar photo Ash says:

    The figures in the last two tables are all out of alignment on both mobile and desktop.

  16. Avatar photo PhilTirril says:

    Like all stats, the table will never be the full picture.

    If you look at fairly objective stats from Thinkbroadband (sorry to mention a competitor site) the actual mean download speed in the UK (taking into account all technologies) is 100mbs. The “clean” mean download speed is 62.5mbs (taking only stable results). The Estimated Maximum Mean Download Speed (if everyone took the fastest available speed) is 572mbs.
    What does that indicate? All stats depend on the things being measured and average speeds depend on what users are prepared to pay for their service, not whats available.

  17. Avatar photo Tom says:

    Part of the problem is that demand hasn’t kept up with supply. I’m on VM’s lowest tier plan, not because I can’t afford 200 mbps or even gigabit, but because I don’t need it. Gigabit is insane overkill when 4K streaming only needs 15-25 mbps, it makes no difference for regular usage, and even downloading large things is plenty fast on 100-200 mbps.

    Mobile broadband though is another matter as you’re not paying for a particular speed there, and it’s sad to see 5G hasn’t yet made the impact that it should. With its massive channels it should offer crazy speeds, Three’s 100MHz n78, if you can connect to it, gives usually north of 500 mbps down. So why aren’t most people yet benefiting from it.

    1. Avatar photo Jerry says:

      The demand for upload speed is the key! There is no much choice of upload speed than upload speed offered by carriers of broadband, That is the key!

Comments are closed

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