The UAE Has the Fastest 5G Speeds in the World According to Ookla

The UAE has come a long way from its beginnings as a dusty desert outpost. The oil rich nation has become home to glittering skyscrapers, opulent shopping malls and, as it turns out, the fastest internet in the world. Ookla’s recent speed test revealed that the UAE’s 5G networks offer median download speeds of 557.63 Mbps as of Q2 2023.

Zeroing in on its top telecom operator, Etisalat by e&, shows a whopping average speed of 680.73 Mbps. Its main rival, Du, lags behind considerably, although its median speeds of 453.93 Mbps surpass average 5G download speeds of any other country around the world.

This competition between Etisalat and Du is likely the reason behind the UAE’s exceptional speeds, both of which successfully navigated the turbulent waters of the Covid-19 pandemic. All in all, Etisalat was able to post a 12.2% increase in customer growth in Q1 2023, a 0.8 point uptick year over year. Du, on the other hand, saw an 8.2% increase in the same period.

The only other country that passed the 500 Mbps mark was South Korea, with an average of 501.56 Mbps. Elswhere in the Gulf, Qatar’s median speeds hovered around Du’s average with 465.62 Mbps, although this is still miles behind the speeds offered by the UAE’s premier telecom operator, Etisalat.

Following Qatar, Brazil ranked fourth in this list with median speeds of 447.3 Mbps. Singapore rounded off the top 5 with 388.5, which is unsurprising given the country’s long standing dominance in terms of fixed broadband speeds. The UAE was able to surpass its East Asian rival in the 5G arena, but it still ranked second as far as broadband speeds were concerned.

Regardless, the Gulf nation is surging well past other 5G friendly nations, offering up to double the speeds of economic like China (258.67 Mbps) and developed Western nations like New Zealand (273.57).

Interestingly, some countries are conspicuously absent from this list. The US failed to make the cut, as did the up-and-coming technological powerhouse that is India. This suggests a widening gap between China and some of its biggest competitors.

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