Africa's fastest internet speeds are found in South Africa, Togo, and Mauritius — Report

Even the nation with the fastest mobile internet in Africa is far behind the world average. According to the US-based internet speed monitoring company Ookla's 2022 Speedtest Global Index, this is the case.

Sep 27, 2022 - 13:06
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Africa's fastest internet speeds are found in South Africa, Togo, and Mauritius — Report

With an average mobile internet download speed of 68.9 megabits per second (mbps), South Africa—the continent's leader in internet speed—lags far behind the global average mobile download speed of 77.7 mbps.

At download speeds, South Africa is ranked 46 globally, and in Africa, it is followed by Togo, Mauritius, Morocco, and Botswana.

The United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Qatar, Bulgaria, and Norway have the fastest mobile internet in the world, with speeds of 258 mbps, 242.3 mbps, 241.7 mbps, 216.6 mbps, and 191.3 mbps, respectively.

Internet speed in Africa and 5G
Additionally, Ookla evaluated the performance of mobile internet on contemporary chipsets in the second quarter of 2022 among 21 mobile network operators. The results revealed that the median download speeds ranged from 2.89 mbps in Guinea to 65.95 mbps in South Africa.

"Since South African carriers outperformed other operators thanks to the presence of 5G networks, we can clearly observe the influence that 5G has on overall performance.

"Despite difficulties with load shedding, MTN South Africa was far ahead of the other providers with a median download speed of 65.95 mbps, followed by Vodacom South Africa with a median download speed of 48.70 mbps.

"Safaricom Kenya was the quickest operator among the evaluated operators if we take 5G out of the picture, according to the analysis by Sylwia Kechiche, principal industry analyst, enterprise at Ookla.

Over 40 countries have yet to build the foundation for the creation of 5G spectrums, despite the fact that over 13 countries are testing 5G networks. This can prevent individuals from participating in the developing global digital economy, which depends on dependable and quick internet.

The upload median mobile speed in Africa is 14.84 mbps for Airtel Uganda and 1.55 mbps for MTN Guinea, indicating that the continent is trailing behind in the social media video revolution. Internet shut downs and disruptions are reducing internet speed.

The poll found that during the second quarter of 2022, customers reported 46,810 instances for Vodacom and 34,882 events for MTN, which is present in 17 African nations. This indicates that internet outages are a factor in Africa's slow internet speeds.

No signal and no access to mobile internet were the two most frequently reported problems, according to the study. Lack of signal was the main cause of Vodacom outages (46%), which was followed by no access to mobile internet (36%).

For MTN, however, the situation was the opposite, with the bulk of issues relating to mobile internet (43%), followed by no signal (40%). It is noteworthy that there have reportedly been entire blackouts, with 7% for Vodacom and 5% for MTN.

Nearly half of Africa's nations are infamous for their internet censorship, which has cost the region billions of dollars in the last four years due to blackouts, complete shutdowns, social media restrictions, and throttling.

The poll adds that the availability of spectrum, end-user devices, and access to fiber backhaul are just a few examples of how end-user devices and reliable power supplies affect the performance of mobile internet.

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