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London comes out as top internet-friendly city in the world, third when it comes to 5G


Analysing the 31 most popular tourist destinations – pre-lockdown, of course – Business Fibre to determine the most internet-friendly cities – and London has come out on top, with Tokyo second and Paris third.

Looking at the number of free wifi spots, the average cost of data, the number of restaurants with free wifi, as well as the average upload and download speeds, the study also crowns the city with the highest number of 5G networks available, with Seoul taking top spot there and London third behind LA.

Internet access is becoming an increasing necessity for people when travelling abroad for both leisure and work purposes. But which cities are the most internet-friendly across the globe?

The top 10 most internet-friendly cities are: 

Rank City, Country
1 London, UK
2 Tokyo, Japan
3 Paris, France
4 Singapore
5 New York City, USA
6 Amsterdam, Holland
7 Barcelona, Spain
8 Bangkok, Thailand
9 Seoul, South Korea
10 Osaka, Japan

London, UK takes the top spot, showing off the second-highest number of free wifi spots at 688,126, and holding the highest number of restaurants with free wifi at 3,981. This is more than 1,000 more than Paris, France, which comes in at second place with 2,750.

Within the top 10 most internet-friendly cities, five are based in Asia including Singapore, Bangkok, and Osaka, with Japan holding an impressive two cities in the top list. In Europe, four out of 10 destinations are ranked as the most internet-friendly, including Amsterdam and Barcelona, both taking the top spot for the fastest upload speed (Amsterdam – 44.87mps) and download speed (Barcelona – 59.23mps). New York City is the only location ranking in the top internet-friendly cities in America, ranking fifth overall.

The cost of data is something many travellers consider when landing in a new country, and for those on a budget, Mumbai, India is the top country in the world for cheap internet costs, charging just £8.24. Prague, Czech Republic ranks as the cheapest country in Europe for data, costing £17.72, which is still over double the cost of Mumbai. Dubai charges the most for its internet data, out of all the countries researched, at a whopping £81.09, which is nearly 10 times that of Mumbai.

Which cities are leading the way with 5G?

5G, the fifth generation of wireless communication technology is set to take the world by storm, with many companies and countries already launching this to the public. But which cities have the highest number of 5G networks? The top five cities include:

  1. Seoul, South Korea – 83 networks available
  2. Los Angeles, USA – 40 networks available
  3. London, UK – 35 networks available
  4. Miami, USA – 14 networks available
  5. Las Vegas, USA – 13 networks available

Seoul takes the lead with the highest number of 5G networks available at 83. London ranks third with 35. Interestingly, three out of the top five cities with the highest number of 5G networks are based in the US, but when it comes to the most internet-friendly cities, the Big Apple is the only one that appears in the top 10.

What will the most internet-friendly cities look like by 2030?

Ian Wright, Founder of Business Fibre, comments: “It’s great to see such a diversity in the locations of the most internet-friendly cities, with Asia being the leading continent with five countries ranking in the top ten list. With London being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s brilliant that takes the top spot as the most internet-friendly city, as well as consistently ranking highly for the work it’s doing to launch 5G. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that upload and download times will become faster, as well as other metrics emerging that will be critical to cities being internet-friendly.”

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