Dubai residents on their smartphones
Dubai residents on their smartphones. The UAE’s new average of 179.61 Mbps mobile data rate (as of Feb. 2023) is significantly up — 33.5% higher than 134.48 Mbps recorded in September 2022, when the global average is 30 Mbps. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

The UAE has topped 137 countries in mobile internet speed, with an average of 179.61 Mbps, according to one of the most authoritative Internet speed test services.

The ranking, updated in February 2023, was made by, also known as Speedtest by Ookla, a web service that provides fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data and analytics.

Rounding up the top 5 for mobile internet speeds are: Qatar (160.33 Mbps), South Korea (138.46 Mbps), Norway 131.23 (Mbps), and Denmark (123.66 Mbps).


Ookla analyses Internet access performance metrics, such as connection data rate and latency (delay). The UAE has kept the same Ookla position it achieved in February 2022, and the two previous years.

Following are the latest 2023 report highlights:

• The UAE is 1st globally in terms of mobile internet speed, with the average internet speed in the country being 179.61 megabyte per second (Mbps) — when the global average was 39.77 Mbps (upload) and 10.18 Mbps (download).

• The UAE’s new average mobile 179.61 Mbps data rate is significantly up — 33.5% higher than 134.48 Mbps recorded in September 2022, when the global average is 30 Mbps.

• The UAE was 5th globally in terms of home internet “fixed broadband” speed, with the average data rate in the country reaching 219.47 Mbps in February, while the global average was 78.62 Mbps (download) and 34.39 Mbps (download).

• The UAE’s performance was also up from the September 2022 average of 124.7 Mbps, when global average was 63.46 Mbps.

Fastest mobile telco in the world

From January to June 2022, the UAE was the fastest country in the world for the average mobile download speed, according to the Speedtest Global Index.

In September 2022, for the second consecutive year, Ookla named UAE telco Etisalat (e&) as the fastest mobile network operator in the world.

The index was based on analysis of millions of tests initiated by customers across every network to check internet speeds using a variety of applications on web and mobile platforms.

Digital life indices

In August 2022, the UAE stood among the world’s leading countries on several digital life indices, the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) said.

In its report, titled “Digital Lifestyle in the UAE”, the TDRA said the UAE was ranked first globally in the use of social media, first in the Arab region in e-commerce, second globally and first in the Arab region in the use of the internet, and the ninth globally. The report also noted that the UAE is the first country in the region to establish a digital government in 2001.

Global mobile performance, by country (Feb. 2023):

UAE No. 1 mobile internet speed
Image Credit: Speedtest