Europe lags behind Asia in broadband connectivity, says Ovum

International technology research and advisory firm Ovum has announced the launch of the world’s first broadband development index to integrate both fixed and mobile connectivity statistics. The index highlights European struggles in connecting consumers to high speed fixed fibre broadband and LTE mobile broadband.

Norway is currently the only major European country to feature in the top 10 leading global markets. Meanwhile, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan lead the way in terms of high-speed broadband penetration.

The scoring system is based on both fixed and mobile broadband connectivity per nation. Points are awarded for basic broadband connectivity, however higher scores are awarded for connecting people to fibre, VDSL and DOCSIS 3.0 for fixed networks, and LTE networks in mobile.

While Norway is Europe’s only major nation to gain recognition in the top 10, where Andorra also features, Ovum’s index also forecasts scores over the next five years. It is anticipated that Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark will join Norway and Andorra in the top 10 by 2019 as LTE roll-out and connectivity penetrates throughout Europe over the next 60 months.

The USA’s early commercial LTE deployment success contributes to its current standing of 8th; however Ovum predicts it will slip back to 13th by 2019 as commercial uptake slows. The UK, meanwhile, is likely to improve on its current standing of 27th.

Other big movers over the next five years will be China and India, likely to move from 59th and 157th to 35th and 125th respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, countries such as Iraq, Chad and Afghanistan are likely to remain among the least connected countries in the world up to 2019.

“Previous country-by-country comparisons of broadband connectivity have focussed on basic broadband connectivity and on fixed rather than mobile telecommunications,” Milena Cooper, senior financial analyst at Ovum said. “We wanted to find a way to include both fixed and mobile broadband because in many emerging markets mobile is the de facto broadband technology.”

“In practice, those countries that score highly on fast fixed broadband do likewise for mobile broadband. South Korea and Singapore rank first and second respectively in both fixed and mobile fast broadband throughout the forecast period,” she said.

The full Broadband Development Index can be found on the Ovum Knowledge Centre website at

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