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South Africa has Africa’s fastest internet speed, Port Harcourt is first in Nigeria

South Africa has Africa’s fastest internet speed, Port Harcourt is first in Nigeria


South Africa leads other African countries on the ranking of countries with the fastest internet speed across the globe with a speed of 44.60Mbps. The country is ranked 56 globally. This is according to Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index June report.

Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index aggregates network speed tests from more than 10,000 high-performance servers in over 190 countries.

Morocco follows with a speed of 40.07Mbps at rank 63, Tunisia is next with 34.22Mbps at rank 70. Cameroon and Bostwana complete the top 5 African countries with internet speeds of 33.98Mbps and 27.30 Mbps

Only nine (9) African countries are listed in the top 100, including Nigeria, Mauritius, Angola, Ethiopia and Egypt.

Port Harcourt has faster internet speed than Lagos, Africa's top Startup city
South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia are among the top 5 countries with the fastest mobile internet speed (>27 Mbps) in Africa

On the other end, Ghana (132) and Zimbabwe (134) has Africa’s Slowest Internet speed with 12.69Mbps and 13.23Mbps respectively.

Port Harcourt is ahead of Lagos, Ibadan, Kano

In Nigeria, Port Harcourt, home to Nigeria’s second-largest port has the fastest internet speeds in the country. The coastal city has a download speed of 26.34 megabytes per second (Mbps), notably higher than the 24.15Mbps recorded in Lagos, Africa’s top startup city.

The report, which highlighted the fastest mean mobile download speed among Nigeria’s most populous cities during the second of the year also showed that four out of five cities had download speeds of over 20Mbps.

Kano is second on the chart with 24.75Mbps while Ibadan stood at fourth with 20.66Mbps. Benin City has the lowest recording of 16.73Mbps during the period.

Port Harcourt has faster internet speed than Lagos, Africa's top Startup city

Globally, Nigeria fell one spot to 99th on the ranking with a download speed of 22.91. However, the top 3 in the world remains unchanged.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) is comfortably perched at the top of the rankings with a mobile broadband speed of 193.51Mbps. Behind UAE is South Korea with 180.48 Mbps, then Qatar with 171.76 Mbps.

Port Harcourt has faster internet speed than Lagos, Africa's top Startup city

Newcomers Norway (171.76 Mbps) and Cyprus (161.80 Mbps) complete the top 5 of 140 countries featured in the report. The United States comes in at 18 with 88.08 Mbps while the United Kingdom climbed to the number 23 with 78.81Mbps.

Airtel has the fastest internet in Nigeria

A breakdown of Internet speed in Nigeria shows that while the download speed for mobile is 22.91Mbps the upload speed is even lower at just 9.68 Mbps.

For fixed broadband, the download speed is pegged at 17.05Mbps while the upload speed is 15.28Mbps. This report shows that while mobile internet may have a better download speed, fixed broadband is more dependable.

Port Harcourt has faster internet speed than Lagos, Africa's top Startup city

In terms of speed for individual telecoms providers, the speed test report revealed Airtel was the fastest mobile operator among top providers in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with a Speed Score of 28.82 on modern chipsets.

Nigeria’s biggest mobile operator, MTN comes in at second with a speed score of 25.78. Globacom and 9mobile have the worst speed with a speed score of 10.35 and 9.49 respectively. This is less than half the speed score of Airtel and MTN.

A breakdown shows that MTN leads in terms of consistency with a score of 83.4%. This means that about 83% of results were found showing at least a 5 Mbps minimum download speed and 1 Mbps minimum upload speed.

Airtel follows closely with a score of 82.5% while Globacom and 9mobile scored 64.1% and 46.4% respectively.

Port Harcourt has faster internet speed than Lagos, Africa's top Startup city

However, when it came to latency 9mobile surprisingly had the lowest latency at 44 ms during the second quarter. MTN and Airtel had the least with 48 ms.

Network latency refers to the time required for a packet of data to travel round trip between two points

In summary

The speed of the internet in Africa still remains far below the global mobile average of 55.34Mbps. In Nigeria, the internet speed is even worse with a speed of 22.91Mbps, about half that of South Africa (44.60Mbps).

Despite the low average, the progress in countries like Mauritius shows that rolling out high-speed mobile broadband beyond major cities to the last mile is key to achieving faster internet in African countries.

While Nigeria and Ghana are still struggling to extend 4G access, South Africa’s 5G subscribers have already reached an estimated 90,000. In fact, 5G users in the country are projected to reach 11 million by 2025, according to Africa Analysis.

Nigeria is not without hope, major telecoms providers like MTN have plans to invest a significant amount of money in infrastructure to build broadband. Similarly, the government has started a broadband strategy with plans to reduce internet costs by 50% by 2025

Going by the current state of play in Africa’s telecom sector, more African countries are on track to break into the top 100 of Ookla’s Speedtest ranking before the year runs out.


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