Broadband

Where does SA fit in global broadband speeds?

Read time 2min 40sec
South Africa's average download speed for broadband is faster than Kenya and Nigeria, according to research by @comparethemkt #downloadspeed
South Africa's average download speed for broadband is faster than Kenya and Nigeria, according to research by @comparethemkt #downloadspeed

South Africa has the fastest average download speed when compared to nine African peers but is middle of the pack in terms of cost.

This is according to new research released by UK-based price comparison Web site Compare the Market, which looks at the cost and speed of broadband around the world.

The study revealed the average monthly cost, average download and upload speeds, and the time it takes to download one hour of Netflix in 54 countries around the globe. However, Compare the Market did not have a single African country on the original list, but did provide stats on 10 African countries, including South Africa, when asked by ITWeb.

The global index found Singapore had the fastest average download speed of 185.25Mbps and the fastest upload speed as well of 192.08Mbps.

In comparison, SA's average download speed is 18.31Mbps. This is, however, the fastest out of the African countries listed, with the next fastest being Kenya at 14.42Mbps and then Mauritius at 14.12Mbps. The slowest average downloads were found in Tunisia with 7.69Mbps, Egypt with 6.74Mbps and Algeria, where the speed is just 3.75Mbps.

Generally speaking, download speeds in African countries were far behind the rest of the world. For example, even at 18.31Mbps, South Africa was behind the global average of 25.08Mbps, while Algeria was around seven times slower than the average.

When looking at the time it takes to download one hour of Netflix, if you are in SA it will take 2m44s; in Kenya it will take 3m28s and in Nigeria 4m39s. The slowest was once again Algeria, where one hour of Netflix will take 13m20s to download. To put this in context, in Singapore it would take only 16 seconds.

The average cost of a broadband package varies a lot around the world; with the cheapest being £10.29 a month in Israel and the most expensive, outside of Africa, was £124.11 in the United Arab Emirates.

When Looking at Africa, Egypt had the cheapest monthly WiFi cost at £10.46 (R188.49) and Namibia the most expensive at £295.55 (R5 327.56). South Africa fell right in the middle at number five with an average cost of £42.54 (R766.87). In general, for Africa, cheaper WiFi meant slower speeds.

The research also shows a definite split between Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the North, broadband was cheaper than some developing nations but prices in Sub-Saharan Africa were much more expensive.

Compare the Market's index was compiled using the following data:

* Average cost of a monthly fixed-line broadband package: Cable.co.uk's Worldwide Broadband Price Comparison
* Average download and upload speeds: Speedtest Global Index
* Average download size for one hour of Netflix HD video: Netflix data

Top 10 global average download speeds:

Top 10 cheapest monthly broadband charges (excluding Africa):

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