Data from Speedtest Global Index, a service owned by Ookla, a US-based internet analytics company, showed that two South African cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria, lead the list of the top ten African cities with high average mobile download speed at 55.64Mbps and 44.94Mbps respectively for Q1 2021.
Speedtest provides data for mobile and fixed broadband internet for more than 130 countries around the world.
The best average speed for mobile internet in Africa was in South Africa at 44.80Mbps while fixed broadband was in Ghana at 51.93Mbps.
There are different ways for users to test their internet speed. Netflix launched fast.com, an effective internet testing tool, free for everyone to compare speeds across geographies.
According to the report, the global average for download speed is 53.38 Mbps for mobile and 102.12 Mbps for fixed broadband. Africa’s best performers scored below these marks.
The top ten countries for mobile internet speeds in Africa in Q1 2021
The top ten countries for mobile internet speeds in Africa in Q1 2021 were South Africa, Mali, Morocco, Cameroon, Tunisia, Egypt, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Kenya at 20.98 Mbps. The worst-ranked African country was Sudan positioned at 131st out of 134 overall at 12.21 Mbps.
The top ten in the fixed broadband category are Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Madagascar, Egypt, Senegal, Seychelles, Morocco, Congo, and Burkina Faso at 23.81 Mbps. Guinea is the worst-ranked African country in this category at 173rd out of 176 overall with 6.66 Mbps.
Airtel and Port Harcourt city stand out
During Q1 2021, tests showed that Airtel had Nigeria’s fastest Mobile Speed Score (27.18) and best Mobile Consistency Score (84.7%).
Port Harcourt had the fastest mean mobile download speed in Nigeria at 23.02 Mbps.
ipNX was the fastest fixed broadband provider with a Speed Score of 18.00. ipNX also had the best-fixed broadband Consistency Score at 36.2%.
Why this matters
These numbers show a wide gap between internet speeds in Africa and the rest of the world as the numbers are low when compared with global averages. Africa has the fastest-growing mobile telecoms market but internet penetration is still at about 42%.