Abu Dhabi among top global cities with fastest 5G download speed

Oslo tops the charts while other GCC cities in top 10 are Doha, Riyadh, Kuwait and Muscat

In this March 6, 2019, photo, a 5G logo is displayed on a screen outside the showroom at Huawei campus in Shenzhen city, China's Guangdong province. Australia’s ban on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s involvement in its future 5G networks and its crackdown on foreign covert interference are testing Beijing’s efforts to project its power overseas. In its latest maneuver, China sent three scholars to spell out in interviews with Australian media and other appearances steps to mend the deepening rift with Beijing - a move that appears to have fallen flat. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
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Oslo, Seoul and Abu Dhabi are the top three capital cities in the world to have the fastest 5G download speed, according to a new report.

The Norwegian capital topped the charts with a median download speed of 526.7 megabits per second, according to Ookla, the company behind the popular Speedtest app that is used for gauging internet performance. It was followed by Seoul (467.8Mbps) and Abu Dhabi (421.3Mbps).

Other capital cities from the GCC region in the top 10 are Doha, Riyadh, Kuwait and Muscat, which ranked fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

A 5G network has an internet speed of up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually evolve to 10Gbps – more than 100 times faster than 4G.

“5G is a huge leap forward and a powerful catalyst for digital transformation bringing new opportunities to various industries and the country,” said Majed Al Mesmar, director general of the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority.

“This global achievement is a testimony to [the] UAE leadership’s vision and commitment in bringing the country to the forefront, taking a lead in the ICT [information and communications technology] sector while being the most advanced country in digital innovation,” he said.

In May 2019, Etisalat – the UAE’s biggest telecoms operator – became the first service provider in the region to announce the availability of a 5G network, supporting smartphones for commercial use. It was soon followed by the UAE’s second-biggest operator du, Saudi Telecom Company and Bahrain's Batelco.

The Gulf region will have 62 million 5G mobile subscribers by 2026 and they will account for nearly 73 per cent of all mobile subscriptions in the region, according to a report by Swedish company Ericsson.

“This remarkable achievement for the UAE reflects the ongoing efforts of Etisalat and its investments to build one of the most advanced 5G networks in the region,” Hatem Dowidar, chief executive of Etisalat, said on Thursday.

“The deployment of 5G across industries and sectors leads the way to digital transformation in [the] UAE, pushing it to the forefront with a network that is future ready for the next generation of mobile technologies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cape Town in South Africa had the slowest median download speed over 5G at 53.33Mbps, according to Ookla. Other world capitals with slower median 5G download speeds included Brasilia, Brazil (62.18Mbps); San Juan, Puerto Rico (72.59Mbps); Warsaw, Poland (80.18Mbps) and Singapore (111.20Mbps).

"Mobile operators are rapidly expanding 5G deployments across the globe, with 16,410 new 5G deployments across 109 countries added to the Ookla 5G Map in June 2021 alone," Ookla said in the report. "Huge investments in 5G are being made to increase performance, especially in major cities."

Cities with fastest 5G speed

  • Oslo
  • Seoul
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Doha
  • Stockholm
  • Riyadh
  • Kuwait
  • Muscat
  • Beijing
  • Taipei
Updated: July 31, 2021, 5:36 AM