Internet speed in Africa is still below the world average — Quartz Africa

Even the country with the highest mobile internet speed in Africa is nowhere near the world average. This is according to the Global Speedtest 2022 Index published by US-based internet speed analysis firm Ookla. South Africa, the continent’s internet speed leader, with an average mobile internet download speed of 68.9 megabits per second (mbps), is well below the global average mobile download speed of 77.7 mbps.

South Africa ranks 46th globally, followed in Africa by Togo, Mauritius, Morocco, Botswana for download speeds.

The highest mobile internet speeds in the world are found in the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Qatar, Bulgaria, and Norway, which have speeds of 258 mbps, 242.3 mbps, 241.7 mbps, 216.6 mbps, and 191 mbps. .3mbps, respectively.

Internet speed in Africa and 5G

Ookla also compared mobile internet performance in the second quarter of
2022 on modern chipsets across 21 mobile network operators, with results showing average download speeds were as low as 2.89 mbps in Guinea and as high as 65.95 mbps in South Africa.

“We can clearly see the impact that 5G has on overall performance, as South African operators were the first to roll out 5G networks. MTN South Africa was far ahead of the rest of the operators, despite facing challenges with load shedding, with an average download speed of 65.95 mbps, followed by Vodacom South Africa with an average download speed of 48.70 mbps. If we take 5G out of the equation, Safaricom Kenya was the fastest carrier among the carriers analyzed,” Sylwia Kechiche, Principal Industry Analyst, Firm at Ookla, says in the report.

While more than 13 countries are testing 5G networks, more than 40 countries have yet to lay the groundwork for creating 5G spectrum. This could keep them out of the emerging global digital economy, which demands fast and reliable internet.

Airtel Uganda has the highest average mobile upload speed in Africa at 14.84 mbps, while Guinea’s MTN Guinea has the lowest at 1.55 mbps, meaning the continent is falling behind in the internet revolution. videos on social networks.

Internet outages and blackouts are slowing down Internet speed

Internet outages are contributing to Africa’s slow speeds, with the survey revealing that during the second quarter of 2022, users reported 46,810 incidents for Vodacom and 34,882 for MTN, which is present in 17 African countries.

“Two main issues were reported: no signal and no mobile internet: No signal accounted for the majority (46%) of outages reported by Vodacom, followed by inability to access mobile internet (36%),” the study says. . But that was reversed for MTN, where most issues were related to mobile internet (43%), followed by no signal (40%). “The fact that there were reports of total blackouts stands out: 7% for Vodacom and 5% for MTN.”

About half of Africa’s countries are notorious for internet censorship, with blackouts, outright shutdowns, social media restrictions and throttling that have caused the continent to lose billions of dollars in the past four years.

The survey further notes that mobile Internet performance depends on the reliability of the underlying infrastructure “such as fiber backhaul access and reliable power supply, spectrum availability, and end-user devices.”

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