Internet Speed impact on Localization Industry

Internet Speed impact on Localization Industry
"Internet Speed impact on Localization Industry"

According to statistics, there are 4.54 Billion active internet users, with the addition of 298 million new users (Jan 2020). People are becoming more into technologies and online-streaming multimedia. This requires better internet connection over time. The internet speed is accelerating thanks to new technologies. This helps games companies, video makers and other multimedia producers stream more games and content for users that enables them to access more multimedia and play online games more often.
In this article, we’ll discuss how internet speed changed through time in different regions, and how this affects both games localization and multimedia localization.

How internet speed changed through time in different regions

Based on Cisco’s annual internet report, the internet speed has increased on a global scale from 45.9 Mbps (2018) to 61.2 Mbps (2020). The forecasted numbers show that it will accelerate from 77.4 Mbps (2021) to 110.4 Mbps (2023) with a CAGR of 20 percent.
Table 1: Fixed broadband speeds (in Mbps), 2018–2023
Region 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 CAGR
Global 45.9 52.9 61.2 77.4 97.8 110.4 20%
Asia Pacific 62.8 74.9 91.8 117.1 137.4 157.1 20%
Latin America 15.7 19.7 34.5 41.2 51.5 59.3 30%
North America 56.6 70.1 92.7 106.8 126.0 141.8 20%
Western Europe 45.6 53.2 72.3 87.4 105.6 123.0 22%
Central and Eastern Europe 35.0 37.2 57.0 65.5 77.8 87.7 20%
Middle East and Africa 9.7 11.7 25.0 29.0 34.9 41.2 33%
Source: Cisco Annual Internet Report, 2018–2023

How internet speed affects Multimedia Localization industry

Multimedia (also known as hypermedia and rich media) is defined to be a web page with animation, text, graphics, animation, audio, video, audiobooks, interactive types of media such as video games, CD ROMs that teach a foreign language, or an information Kiosk at a subway terminal. The multimedia localization process includes transcription, translation & localization, captions & subtitling, voice over, data engineering and more, according to the type of multimedia.
Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Warner Media HBO and NBC Universal Peacock; are all examples of active and potential online video streaming platforms. Each platform of them requires minimum speed. Take Netflix as an example, the minimum required speed for streaming Netflix is 3 Mbps for SD quality. It’s recommended at least 5 Mbps for HD quality and 25 Mbps for 4K quality. Same internet speed is needed for Disney Plus (Disney+). Comparing this with Table 1, you can see that some areas have had low internet speed, in the past that could’ve caused streaming issues.
The faster the internet speed, the more likely people will subscribe to such video streaming websites or demand any other form of multimedia. This would put multimedia localization service providers in demand by different types of multimedia producers.

Internet speed impact on Games Localization industry

If you’re a video gamer, you’d probably know the video game distribution platforms i.e. Steam, Origin, Discord, Uplay, etc. Such platforms need high internet speed in order to stream properly.
Now, that gamers have higher internet speed through different regions, they purchase more games to play as seen in the graph below:

Source: GamingScan (2017-2021)
Video games producers will have opportunities to penetrate new markets or regions with their games, and internet speed would help as one factor. Game localization services providers will too have great opportunities to promote their services and close big deals with games producers who are willing to localize their products and reach more markets.
Mobile gaming market, on the other hand, is growing over time. Around the world, there’s 5.1 billion mobile users (We Are Social 2019 Report), which is 67% of world’s population, growing by 2.0 percent y-o-y. (2018 - 2019).
The average mobile network connection speed is seeing a remarkable change from 2018 until 2020, and is forecasted to continue improving by 2023 to 43.9 Mbps globally.
Table 2: Average mobile network connection speeds (in Mbps) by region and country Source: Cisco Annual Internet Report, 2018–2023
Region 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 CAGR (2018–2023)
Global speed: All handsets 13.2 17.7 23.5 29.4 35.9 43.9 27%
Asia Pacific 14.3 18.0 24.7 32.4 39.0 45.7 26%
Latin America 8.0 11.2 15.7 21.1 24.8 28.8 29%
North America 21.6 27.0 34.9 42.4 50.6 58.4 22%
Western Europe 23.6 31.2 40.1 48.2 54.4 62.4 21%
Central and Eastern Europe 12.9 15.7 21.3 30.3 36.1 43.0 27%
Middle East and Africa 6.9 9.4 13.3 17.6 20.3 24.8 29%

You now know the changes that have happened in internet speed through time, and how this affects the localization industry including multimedia localization and game localization industries. Don’t you think it’s time to localize your game or multimedia?
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