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South Korea has the Fastest Internet Speed and was declared to have the World’s Top Technology Market by the UN

The United Nations recognizes South Korea to have the world’s top technology market!

Free Wi-Fi virtually in every cafe, in bookstores, in most office buildings, GPS feature media poles in the heart of the busy financial district and real-time arrival time streaming at bus stops—all with broadband speed that is still to be unmatched from any other country. Having lived in South Korea I have come to feel firsthand how fast and wired the country of South Korea is. Apparently users of smartphones and free wi-fi junkies were not the only ones who agree with me. Last week, the United Nations recognized South Korea as the country with the top technology market!

For the second consecutive year, South Korea was awarded by the UN with this honor. Each year the International Telecommunication Union (ITU; UN agency for information and telecommunications technologies) publishes a report and these global rankings come from the Measuring the Information Society report. Although it’s been only a year, much has changed for Korea. Already known to the world as being one of the most wired nations, the fast advancements in mobile markets and other telecommunication ventures coming out of this country, helped them acquire more points to help recapture the title in 2011.

Smart Korea: Which one would you use?

Over in America, Pando Network ran a study of a new online gaming application by analyzing 27 million downloads by 20 million different computer units throughout 224 countries, from January 2011- July 2011. South Korea proved to have the fastest average game download speed of 2,202 Kbps, where the global average was found to be 580 Kbps.

Compliments of Pando Network

The United States was found to have an average of 616 Kbps and behind South Korea in 2nd and 3rd were Romania and Bulgaria with 1,919 Kbps and 1,611 Kbps respectively. Eastern Europe proved to have the second fastest gaming download speed. Either way, Korea and her other European top speed companions are servicing their citizens well above the global average.


Passing the key essential checkpoints

How is Korea measuring up? Well with 91% mobile broadband penetration (highest globally), 96% household Internet connection rate, 36.6% fixed mobile penetration, not so bad. Let’s have a short Q&A session covering some other details to see how Korea achieved this title for a second consecutive year.

Q: Does the region have a high level of internet penetration

A: Mutliple wi-fi spots per square mile, incomparable broadband speed, and 3G that works about anywhere (not to mention the 4G LTE craze going on right now).

Q: Are people early adopters?

A: The exponential increase of smartphone and tablet PC users of all ages speaks for itself; and we can’t forget to mention the overall speed of how quickly this nation developed from their third world status just 30 years ago.

Q: Does the region enjoy an infrastructure that supports digital over traditional models?

A: Take education for example. The education and schooling culture dominates the realm of Korean social issues. And the Korean government has committed to convert all school textbooks into digital forms, that are also to encompass cloud computing technology.

Q: Is there a technology eco-system?

A: Geographically it is difficult for Korea to have organized grid blocks, unlike the US, but their day-to-day operation of almost every aspect of technology services is a system that not only serves the citizens of this country at an unheard broadbandspeed, but finding solutions to any glitches are usually all taken care of in the day—the system is that efficient! No more scheduling appointments to have a service man come and check the cable at your house, then find the problem, and then come back a week later to fix it. Nope, done all in one day.

Q: Are investors more inclined in making investments in new ideas?

A: Not only is the government investing into “Green”efforts, but many small, medium and large conglomerates of Korea are investing largely into alternative energy and integrating “green” technology into their repertoire.

Fastest Cities and Slowest Cities, Compliments of Mashable


Below you will find a short description of the metrics used by the UN:

“The report captures the level of ICT developments in 152 economies worldwide and compares progress made during the past two years. The IPB combines fixed telephone, mobile cellular and fixed broadband Internet tariffs for 165 economies into one measure and compares these across countries, and over time.” -Measuring the Information Society Report.

UN members were so very impressed with the longevity of Korea’s infrastructure. Along with Korea at the top of the list were Australia, Japan, and New Zealand— where mobile phone services play a significant role in the lives of the people. Finland made an impression making it to 5th place this year after being ranked 12th last year. This year they were recognized for being the first country to make broadband access a legal right for citizens. Hong Kong was the only other Asian country in the top ten.

Here is a list of the top ten for 2011:

Compliments of Asian Scientists

I have been able to experience the difference in speed firsthand, but not all of you may have. Korea has definitely spoiled me and I only hope that you will all be able to experience the pampering of living in the most wired country with the fastest broadband speed.

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About the author by Amy G Jung

I am one of the main communicators for this project and am excited about supporting Korea in disclosing and clarifying anything related to Korean technology, design, and culture. I am a former Product Specialist from Apple, born and bred in the US, and grew up around cars. I like learning about trivial things in life and relieving both my right and left brain appetites.

- Follow @amygjung Twitter