A number of African countries have jumped in global rankings that measure internet speeds among telecom operators and internet service providers, such as network infrastructure investments and deployment intensifies.
By the end of 2022, seven African countries had gained more than five positions in the world ranking median mobile internet download speeds.
According to the Speedtest Global Index from Ookla, a global network intelligence and connectivity research company, seven others improved their fixed broadband speed rankings by a similar number of places.
“Internet connectivity continues to advance for people around the world, especially as countries prioritize and improve mobile and fixed broadband networks,” said researchers from Ookla Speedtest Global Index 2022.
In the first 11 months of 2022, fixed broadband speeds grew faster (28%) than mobile download speeds (17%) compared to the index’s November 2021 figures.
African countries rise in Ookla Speedtest Global Index
During the review period, the lowest ranked African countries made the most significant progress.
Rwanda made the biggest leap in fixed broadband, with the result that its position in the global ranking rose by 47 places.
Liberalization of the sector in this country saw the east african nation award 114 fixed broadband licenses to internet service providers, including continental heavyweights Liquid Telecom and mobile network operators, MTN and Airtel, between 2021 and 2022.
“As a result, this has enabled the extension of the fiber optic network to households and business services in Kigali City, Musanze and Rubavu,” the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said in its statement. Annual Report.
Internet penetration in Rwanda stood at 60.6% at the end of 2022, with its international bandwidth capacity increasing by 29.4%.
Malawi moved nine positions to 148 while Djibouti and Congo jumped seven places to 153 and 103 respectively, while Mauritius, Lesotho and Guinea improved their rankings five places each to 113, 127 and 154.
Burkina Faso, which was previously among the lowest-ranked countries, gained the most places in mobile internet speeds in Africa, rising 22 places to 102nd.
In early 2022, Burkina Faso also completed the first phase of a national fiber optic backbone project to connect its capital to 145 other municipalities and neighboring countries.
Burkina Faso will also benefit from a partnership between Orange Telecom and off-grid network operator, Vanu, to deliver technology upgrades to 1,070 sites in three countries. 170 of them will be in Burkina Faso, 700 in Ivory Coast and 200 in Liberia.
“In order to provide digital services for all, Orange will deploy its services by strategically improving/increasing its network coverage so that no one is left behind,” said the Orange Group Deputy General Manager in charge of operations in Côte d’Ivoire. ‘Ivoire, Burkina. Faso and Liberia, Nafy Coulibaly.
Botswana and Uganda, already higher in the world rankings, moved up 15 places each—at 47 and 57 respectively.
Mauritius also made significant progress in mobile internet speed with a ranking increase of 13 slots – to position 74 – while Sudan gained 11 slots to stand at 112.
Among Africa’s largest economies, Kenya moved up five places to 87th and Nigeria moved up one position to 92nd in their mobile internet speed rankings. However, Egypt and South Africa saw their mobile rankings drop—by six and nine slots respectively, at positions 91 and 64.
5G and network upgrades in Africa
Mobile network operators in both countries have invested in network upgrades despite difficult economic conditions that have led to significant increases in the cost of living in Africa. These investments should bear fruit in the future.
“We have accelerated network investment to R17.1 billion ($950 million) and spent an additional R7 billion ($412 million) to secure 4G and 5G spectrum in key markets across Europe. South Africa and Nigeria,” MTN Chairman and CEO Ralph Mupita said in a statement on its financial performance.
The investment, MTN said, increased access to broadband services to 85.5% of the population and resulted in an average reduction of 22.5% in data tariffs.
Safaricom, headquartered in Kenya, also said in its 2022 annual report that capital additions to its network as well as system upgrades amounted to $397 million (KSh49.78 billion) for the year.
“It is expected that the majority of Kenya’s mobile connections will be on 5G by 2029 and our network masts are primed for this growth. In the short term, we plan to expand the number of 5G sites to over 200 locations in nine cities over the next year,” Safaricom told investors.
Despite falling mobile rankings, Egypt and South Africa saw their fixed broadband Internet speeds improve, improving by four and one position to 84 and 97 respectively.
The original version of this article was published by bird-africa no filter.