4KTV streaming readiness rises by double digits globally

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 09 January 2015

The ability to adequately stream 4K/Ultra HD video content has increased globally according to Akamai Technologies' Third Quarter 2014 State of the Internet Report.

For the second consecutive quarter, the global average connection speed remained above the 4Mbps 'broadband' threshold, however it saw a slight decline in the third quarter of 2014, dropping 2.8% to 4.5Mbps. Even so, the report found that six of the top ten countries saw increases in global average connection speeds, and all of the top ten remained well above the 10Mbps 'high broadband' threshold.

Among those increasing in average connection speed quarter-over-quarter, Singapore experienced the largest rise (12.2Mbps), an 18% improvement. The smallest growth was in Japan (15Mbps), which was only up 0.8% from the second quarter. In addition, Ireland (13.9Mbps) joined Singapore in seeing an increase of 10% or more from the previous quarter. Yearly increases were seen in 129 qualifying countries/regions, with rates ranging from 150% in Jersey (9.7Mbps) down to a modest 0.2% in Ecuador (3.6Mbps).

"One need only look to the sheer number of connected device- and smart home-related announcements that came out of the 2015 International CES to see that consumers are continuing to adopt and expect more from connected technology and services," said David Belson, editor of the report. "The strong year-over-year growth trends illustrated in this quarter's report shows that the Internet is evolving and expanding to meet the growing demands of our increasingly connected lifestyles."

The report also found that as a consequence, 52 countries/regions qualify as '4K-ready' for the quarter, and 12% of the global connections were at or above the 15Mbps threshold necessary to sustain 4K Ultra HD streaming. While down 2.8% quarter-over-quarter, readiness increased 32% year-over-year.

South Korea remained the country with the highest level of 4K readiness, with two-thirds of its connections to Akamai at or above 15Mbps.

It should be noted that the findings do not account for other readiness factors, including availability of 4K-encoded content or 4K-capable televisions and media players.