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Home > Smart Living> Innovation > Mobile internet speeds in India one of the slowest globally

Mobile internet speeds in India one of the slowest globally

The Digital Quality of Life Index 2021 says India’s e-security has improved since 2020 but the quality and affordability of internet remain poor

FILE PHOTO: Commuters watch videos on their mobile phones as they travel in a suburban train in Mumbai, India, April 2, 2016. Compared to 2020, India dropped 2 places down in the DQL Index and its internet affordability index decreased by 75 per cent.
FILE PHOTO: Commuters watch videos on their mobile phones as they travel in a suburban train in Mumbai, India, April 2, 2016. Compared to 2020, India dropped 2 places down in the DQL Index and its internet affordability index decreased by 75 per cent. (REUTERS)

The third annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) was released recently. Conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark, the DQL study covers 90% of the global population, and evaluates countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-government. Overall, the 2021 DQL research examined a total population of more than 6.9 billion people.

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So where does India stand among 110 countries in terms of quality of digital wellbeing? Compared to 2020, India dropped 2 places down and its internet affordability index decreased by 75%. It now ranks 59th globally for digital quality of life, 17th among 32 countries in Asia and 1st in the south Asia region. Here’s a look at some other key findings.

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E-infrastructure: According to the latest DQL Index, this remains India’s lowest-ranking pillar, being 30% worse than the global average. Moreover, the country ranks only 95th in the number of individuals using the internet, leaving plenty of room for improvement in e-infrastructure.

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12.33 mbps: Mobile internet speed in India is one of the slowest in the world at 12.33 Mbps (ranked 109th). The country’s internet quality ranks only 67th in the latest index. Compared to that, the likes of the United Arab Emirates and Republic of Korea have some of the fastest mobile internet speeds in the world.

E-security improves: India’s e-security has improved by 76% since last year and now ranks higher (36th) than China’s, according to the index. The DQL Index looks at cybersecurity and data protection laws for this category.

Need for affordable internet: India’s ranking in the internet affordability index has decreased by 75% since 2020. It now ranks 47th. This year, people in India have to work 1 minute 15 seconds to afford the cheapest 1GB mobile data package. That is 40 seconds more than in 2020. Globally, the world’s worst internet is the least affordable. People in some countries, such as Nigeria, Côte D'Ivoire and Mali require approximately a week’s worth of work to afford the internet.

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Europe dominates: Overall, 6 out of 10 countries holding the highest scores in this year’s index are located in Europe, following last year’s trend. Denmark ranks 1st in DQL for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea. Finland ranks 3rd, while Israel and the US round out the top five of 110 nations. The bottom five countries are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala, and Angola.

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Also read: 'Without free speech, the internet would be a rudderless boat’

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