Ireland lags Azerbaijan for mobile broadband speeds

Internet speeds rise, particularly in Leinster, but are still slow in rural areas

Speedtest: Ookla ranked Ireland 62nd of 123 countries for its average mobile-download speed and 81st for upload speed at the end of 2017. Photograph: Getty

Speedtest: Ookla ranked Ireland 62nd of 123 countries for its average mobile-download speed and 81st for upload speed at the end of 2017. Photograph: Getty

 

Irish mobile broadband has got a lot faster recently, but poor coverage outside major towns and cities leaves the country lagging behind Azerbaijan in performance.

Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index, which measures broadband in more than 100 countries, ranked Ireland 62nd for its average mobile-download speed and 81st for upload speed at the end of 2017. Average Irish mobile-download speeds rose by 23.7 per cent, from 16.14Mbps to 19.97Mbps, in the second part of 2017 versus the same period of 2016. Upload speeds rose 16.5 per cent, to 8.67Mbps.

“Internet in the Republic of Ireland is a study of contrasts. The growing tech hub boasts fast mobile speeds in and around cities but, like so many other countries, struggles with speeds in rural areas,” Ookla said.

It added that Ireland’s biggest carriers are increasingly taking on the challenge, with Vodafone having recently trialled 1Gbps mobile broadband and announced the introduction of VoLTE, or voice calls transmitted as data packets rather than as separate, relatively bandwidth-heavy streams.

Vodafone had the fastest mobile broadband of Ireland’s leading carriers in the second half of 2017, at 24.33Mbps. Eir and Three scored 16.70Mbps and 16.30Mbps. Ookla said that, despite improvements, Eir and Three “have some catching up to do”.

Co Leitrim had the slowest recorded average mobile-download speed in the country, at 13.45Mbps, followed by Co Mayo, at 14.78Mbps.

The Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown council area had the fastest average mobile speed, at 36.26Mbps, followed by Co Kildare, on 24.27Mbps.

Ireland was ranked 42nd in the world for average fixed-broadband download speeds in the second half of 2017, with an average of 38.81Mbps. The country was 59th for uploads, at 13.42Mbps, placing it between Cambodia and India.

Virgin Media was the Republic of Ireland’s fastest internet service provider, with a score of 79.53Mbps, more than double that of the runner-up, Eir, at 32.05Mbps. Vodafone claimed third spot, on 26.82Mbps, with Three bringing up the rear, on 11.32Mbps.

The five areas with the fastest fixed-broadband download speeds are all in Leinster: South Dublin (67.83Mbps), Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown (64.15Mbps), Dublin City (61.84Mbps), Co Kildare and Co Wicklow. Co Donegal had the slowest fixed broadband, at 18.39Mbps.