Average download speeds in Doha are
50 percent roughly one-third slower than in the UAE but rank among the fastest in the GCC, according to a newly relaunched tracking tool.
The Guardian newspaper’s “download deathmatch” application lets visitors compare the amount of time it takes to load a high-resolution photo or share a short video online.
It shows that Internet users in Qatar experience the second-fastest internet speeds in the Gulf.
Based on data collected over the past 30 days by network diagnostic firm Ookla – which offers the popular Speedtest application – Qatar internet users experienced an average download speed of 10.54 megabits per second (Mbps), ranking it 67th among 118 countries.
To put that in context, that means it would take 3.8 seconds to download a five-megabyte file, such as a large photo. By comparison, the same file would take 2.53 seconds in the UAE.
Qatar fared slightly poorer on the upload side, with an average speed of 4.02 Mbps, which ranked 74th in the world.
Using the application’s measurements, it would take nearly one minute and 40 seconds to upload a 50-megabyte file, such as a video clip. That’s twice as long as in the UAE.
Need for speed
As in many countries, slow internet speeds can be a source of frustration for residents in Qatar. A 2011 ictQatar survey found slow connections speeds was perceived to be the biggest challenge facing local digital media users.
Average speed measurements can also mask fluctuations that both irritate and delight local residents:
@dohanews is anyone else suffering with their internet tonight, fibre is mega slow, can't stream anything!!
— Adrian (@gettingangrier) August 30, 2014
Under Qatar’s national broadband strategy, released slightly more than a year ago, ictQatar wants 95 percent of the country’s households to have access to broadband service of at least 100 Mbps for downloads download and 50 Mbps effective upload speeds by 2016.
Correction: A calculation error misstated the percentage difference between speeds in Qatar and the UAE.