Asia Pacific leading broadband race, according to Akamai report
By Digital News Asia August 12, 2013
- South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong lead the world in terms of ‘high’ broadband speeds above 10 Mbps threshold
- ‘High’ broadband connectivity in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand grew 101%, 116% and 196% respectively
DESPITE only moderate increases, three Asia Pacific countries or regions led the global ranks in terms of average Internet connection speeds, and were the only three which saw speeds above the ‘high broadband’ threshold of 10 Mbps in the first quarter of 2013.
The three – South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong – however only saw modest quarterly increases, growing to 14.2 Mbps, 11.7 Mbps, and 10.9 Mbps respectively (click table to enlarge).
Average connection speeds in the remaining Asia Pacific countries/ regions ranged from 6.9 Mbps in Singapore down to 1.3 Mbps in India, according to Akamai Technologies Inc’s First Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report.
Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as network connectivity and connection speeds, attack traffic, and broadband adoption and availability, among many others.
Akamai’s globally-distributed Intelligent Platform allows it to gather information on many metrics, including connection speeds, attack traffic, network connectivity/ availability/ latency problems, and IPv6 growth/transition progress, as well as traffic patterns across leading websites and digital media providers, with which it uses to compile the State of the Internet Report.
The First Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report includes new observations on ‘account checker’ attacks targeting e-commerce sites and the impact on Akamai traffic from events including the death of Hugo Chavez, announcement of the new Pope, and undersea cable disruptions, Akamai said in a statement.
China the broadband laggard
Quarter-over-quarter changes across Asia Pacific were generally positive when it came to average connection speeds, Akamai said, with only China and Vietnam seeing minor quarterly losses. Among those seeing quarterly increases, the gains were as high as 10% in Singapore and 20% in India (click picture to download 594K Asia Pacific infographic).
Japan was the only country in the region to see a yearly increase below 10% (at 6.8%), while Indonesia saw the most significant growth, up 113% from a year prior.
Four additional countries grew more than 30% year-over-year, and three more saw increases in the 20% range. Taiwan, New Zealand and Hong Kong rounded up the group with year-over-year growth at or above 10%. South Korea and Vietnam were the only two Asia Pacific countries to see negative year-over-year changes, declining 10% and 9.1% respectively.
Average peak connection speeds
Hong Kong remained far and away the top region with the highest average peak connection speed, topping both the Asia Pacific and global ranks at 63.6 Mbps, up 9% quarter-over-quarter. Japan was the only other Asia Pacific country that had an average peak connection speed at or above 50 Mbps, after a strong 13% quarterly increase.
Both South Korea and Singapore posted average peak connection speeds above 40 Mbps, while Taiwan and Thailand both leverage quarterly gains in the 6% range to achieve average peak speeds above 30 Mbps.
The remaining surveyed countries, with the exception of China, all had average peak connection speeds above 10 Mbps in the first quarter.
Up 4.1% quarter-over-quarter, China had the lowest average peak connection speed among the surveyed Asia Pacific countries/ regions, at 8.3 Mbps.
Quarterly changes among the surveyed countries/ regions ranged from a low of 1.5% in South Korea to 27% in India; Japan, Malaysia and New Zealand also saw quarterly growth in excess of 10%.
Year-over-year changes across the surveyed Asia Pacific countries/ regions were particularly strong in the first quarter of 2013, Akamai said.
Indonesia posted the greatest gain, at 152%, while Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand all had the lowest level of yearly growth, at a still impressive 26%. Three countries (Thailand, Australia, and Malaysia) all grew by more than 50% year-over-year, with Australia’s gain more than erasing the unexpected yearly loss seen in the fourth quarter of 2012.
China and Singapore both grew more than 40% year-over-year, while the Philippines, India, and Vietnam all added more than 30%. With the exception of South Korea, the remaining countries/ regions all saw yearly increases in excess of 20%.
High broadband connectivity
In the first quarter of 2013, there was a very broad range of high broadband adoption rates across Asia Pacific. South Korea saw half of its connections to Akamai at speeds above 10 Mbps, while China saw just one-fifth of 1% of connections to Akamai at those speeds.
Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore joined South Korea as the only other Asia Pacific countries/ regions with high broadband adoption levels above 10%. The remaining countries all had adoption rates below 5%, ranging from 4.8% in Australia down to China’s 0.2%.
Quarterly changes among the qualifying countries were somewhat mixed, with increases ranging from just 0.8% in Australia to a massive 102% in India. Thailand and China saw declines of 0.5% and 21%, respectively.
On a year-over-year basis, high broadband adoption rates in the qualifying countries/ regions generally saw significant improvements.
Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand all more than doubled adoption rates as compared to the first quarter of 2012,increasing 101%, 116% and 196% respectively. India, China and New Zealand, and Taiwan also saw strong growth, posting yearly increases of over 50% (click table to enlarge).
Among the three countries that did not qualify for inclusion in the global rankings, Indonesia and the Philippines saw solid yearly growth, while Vietnam saw a year-over-year loss.
The spread of adoption rates was significantly greater than that seen for the high broadband adoption metric, ranging from 87% in South Korea all the way down to 1.9% in Vietnam.
Adoption rates continued to be fairly strong in most countries/ regions, though China, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam maintained adoption rates below 10%. Quarter-over-quarter changes were mostly positive, and fairly nominal.
While Malaysia and India did show quarterly increases above 10% (growing 18% and 33% respectively), growth in the other countries/ regions fell below that level. Australia, China, and Vietnam all posted quarterly declines in broadband adoption, losing 5.6%, 12%, and 1.3% respectively.
Year-over-year changes were a mixed bag as well, with a broad range of growth rates, as well as losses seen in two qualifying countries/ regions.
An unusually high year-over-year change of 414% was seen in Indonesia, while Thailand, Malaysia, and China all posted growth rates just over 100%. Yearly growth below 10% was seen in the top three ranked countries/ regions, with South Korea growing 1.5%, Japan growing 9.9%, and Hong Kong growing 8.4%.
Although China’s broadband adoption rate doubled on year-over-year basis, the research chief of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology indicated that there is still a significant gap between China’s broadband coverage and that of developed nations, and that the lag is increasing.
While the Chinese government has said that it aims to increase broadband coverage to 95% by 2015, challenges to driving significant on-going improvements to adoption rates include the relatively high price of broadband, poor connections and customer service, as well as disparity in coverage between cities and rural areas, and a general lack of infrastructure, Akamai said.
Global Internet penetration
More than 733 million unique IPv4 addresses from 243 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, an increase of 3.1% over the previous quarter and 10% year over year.
Since a single IP address can represent multiple individuals in some cases – such as when users access the Web through a firewall or proxy server – Akamai estimates the total number of unique Web users connecting to its platform during the quarter to be well over one billion.
Among the top 10 countries that connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform in the first quarter, quarterly growth ranged from 0.7% in Germany to 5.3% in China. Across the full set of observed countries/ regions worldwide, nearly 75% saw a quarterly increase in unique IP address counts.
Akamai maintains a distributed set of unadvertised agents deployed across the Internet that log connection attempts, which the company classifies as attack traffic. Based on the data collected by these agents, the company said it is able to identify the top countries from which attack traffic originates, as well as the top ports targeted by these attacks.
It is important to note, however, that the originating country as identified by the source IP address may not represent the nation in which an attacker resides, Akamai said. For example, an individual in the United States may be launching attacks from compromised systems anywhere in the world.
Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 177 unique countries/ regions during the first quarter of 2013, the same number that was observed in the fourth quarter of 2012. While China kept its position as the single-largest volume source of observed traffic with 34% of the total (down from 41% in the previous quarter), Indonesia took over second place with 21% of observed traffic (up from 0.7% in the previous quarter).
The United States dropped from second to third with 8.3% of observed traffic (down from 10% in the previous quarter).
The top 10 countries/ regions generated more than 80% of the observed attack traffic during the quarter. More than half of the total observed attack traffic originated from China and Indonesia.
Observations on DDoS attacks
Starting in the fourth quarter of 2012, the State of the Internet Report includes insight into DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks based on reports from Akamai customers.
In the first quarter of 2013, Akamai customers reported 208 attacks, up slightly from the 200 reported in the previous quarter. Of those attacks, 35% targeted enterprise customers; 32% were focused on commerce customers; 22% on media customers; 7% on high tech customers; and 4% targeted public sector customers.
Attacks were reported by 154 different organisations in the first quarter of 2013.
‘Account Checker’ attacks
In the first quarter of 2013, Akamai observed attempted account takeover behaviour for numerous e-commerce organisations that resulted from reuse of credentials obtained from other sites.
Using automated tools known as ‘account checkers,’ attackers can quickly determine valid user ID/password combinations across a large number of e-commerce sites. Once an account is breached, attackers can collect a user’s personal data and credit card information to use for further fraud.
In the first quarter of 2013, average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network operators ranged from a high of 8.6 Mbps to a low of 0.4 Mbps. Nine operators demonstrated average connection speeds in the broadband (>4 Mbps) range while 64 more operators showed average connection speeds above 1 Mbps.
Data collected by Ericsson indicates that the volume of mobile data traffic doubled from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, and grew 19% between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.
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