Choosing the Right Internet Bandwidth for Your Business

Effective bandwidth is crucial to a business’s productivity


We have all experienced it: The video conference call that freezes midway during an important presentation. The email that doesn’t leave the outbox. The file download that seemingly never ends.

These situations lead to us trying all ways to improve internet speeds, from moving closer to the Wi-Fi router to installing Wi-Fi range extenders, and even adjusting the antenna to find the optimal angle. While these methods do provide a boost to your Wi-Fi signal, they may not suffice as long-term solutions. Instead, choosing the right internet bandwidth for your business is the answer to unlocking great productivity gains.


Isn’t internet bandwidth and speed the same thing?

The terms bandwidth and speed are often used interchangeably but incorrectly. 

Although related, they are two different measurements of connection quality. Speed refers to the maximum rate that data is transmitted, while bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data your connection can support at any one time.

Think of bandwidth as an expressway and vehicles as data – the more vehicles there are, the more congested and slower the traffic will be. That is why you may be enjoying fast internet speed at one moment, and in the next, it dips as your colleague joins a video conference and another accesses applications on the cloud.


Insufficient bandwidth may compromise efficiency and experience

Every organisation and network has unique bandwidth demands. However, small bandwidth may be a limitation to your business.

Not only do delays in applications and data loading affect the efficiency of your business operations, it also compromises both your employees’ and customers’ experiences.

Amazon saw that for every 100ms of latency experienced, they lost 1% in sales1; and for every 0.5 seconds that it took to load Google’s search results, its webpage traffic dropped by 20%2.

Every second counts when it comes to your business. Choosing an effective bandwidth to optimise your connection speeds is crucial for improving productivity and user experience.


Key factors to determine the optimal bandwidth for your business

1)     Usage of cloud applications

The cloud shifts the bandwidth focus to connections between the network and the cloud infrastructure. Transferring data to the cloud and running business-critical applications with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) can put a significant burden on internet connections. If most of your business applications and data are hosted on the cloud, you will require a larger bandwidth to ensure smooth and efficient data exchanges and access to the cloud.

Tip: Consider background activities such as auto-update, sync or backup in your apps which also take up a share of your bandwidth.

2)     Type of online activities

Different online activities require different speeds. Depending on your industry, you may be running multiple high data consumption programs and applications at the same time. Basic activities such as email and web browsing will not consume a lot of bandwidth, but complex activities, like real-time communications (i.e. voice over IP phone systems and video conferencing), heavy file uploading, 4K video streaming, data backup services and cloud-based applications require faster speeds.

Tip: It’s likely that every user is multitasking. Hence, be sure to take into account all the concurrent activities when considering the total bandwidth required.

3)     Number of devices

The digital density, or number of devices on the system, can affect performance as bandwidth is spread over all the users and devices connected to the network at once. With more people using the same network, more data needs to be distributed, resulting in the network becoming slower.

Tip: Remember to factor in not only your employees’ devices, but also that of your guests.

Larger bandwidth provides room for business growth

A lack of bandwidth could cause a bottleneck in your business operations. Investing in a larger bandwidth will enable greater business scalability and ease the adoption of new technologies, thereby accelerating business growth and transformation.

While it is difficult to project future needs as your business expands, it can be expected that new technologies, such as 5G, will give rise to next-generation digital solutions, communication tools and collaboration software which will only require more bandwidth than ever. Businesses that leverage these technologies effectively will secure a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the pack.

Ultimately, a larger bandwidth is an investment for the future of your business, which saves time and resources in the long run.


StarHub, #1 telco in customer satisfaction for broadband, now offers 750Mbps bandwidth option

To better cater to the unique needs of different businesses, StarHub recently added a new 750Mbps business fibre broadband plan to its three existing bandwidth options.

Rated #1 in customer satisfaction for broadband on the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore 2021, StarHub provides quality customer service and easy access to technical support for a greater peace of mind.

Find out more about StarHub’s business broadband promotions here.



Protect Your Data with StarHub Backup as a service

Back up all the critical data within Microsoft 365 with StarHub Managed Backup as a service

Find out more

SASE for SME is a cloud security solution for small businesses that prevents cyber threats and protects data for any user at any location.

Find out more
5G for Business

5G is set to positively impact a broad swathe of industries, potentially putting early adopters far ahead of their competitors. 

Find out more