Mobile internet speeds are always a hot topic for discussion among consumers.
Fast speeds are always better, but that always comes at a cost, because users have to pay a premium to enjoy the best of speeds.
Take the case of Kenya: the leading telco, Safaricom, which serves more than 33 million customers, has some of the best mobile internet speeds in Africa.
However, Safaricom data bundles are not the cheapest, and that has forced consumers to look for better deals elsewhere.
Nonetheless, the competition still lags behind: Airtel, Telkom, and Faiba offer better deals, but improved speeds are a reserve for major urban centres, which beats the logic of giving customers a huge amount of data that they cannot use in other parts of the country.
To put this into context, Safaricom’s 4G coverage is nearing 100 percent (at 97 percent), which is no mean feat.
The rest of the telcos have not revealed this information to us, although they continue to invest in expanding their LTE coverage.
Safaricom has also since started testing 5G, but the commercial rollout has not been done (we expect that to occur sometime before 2022 ends, or in 2022).
South Africa, as you will find out later, has launched 5G services commercially in some of its cities.
A report put together by Ookla has revealed that MTN South Africa delivered the fastest median download speeds in Q2, 2022.
The data shows that the median download speeds ranged from 2.89 Mbps for MTN Guinea, and 65.95 Mbps for MTN South Africa.
In the same spirit, the median upload speed ranged between 1.55 Mbps for MTN Guinea and 14.84 Mbps for Airtel Uganda.
These numbers can be attributed to the launch of 5G and its performance in SA. MTN South Africa was apparently ahead of the competition, although it faced some hurdles at launch with load shedding. It recorded the said 65.95 Mbps download speeds and was followed closely by Vodacom South Africa with a median download speed of 48.70 Mbps.
However, if 5G considerations are taken out of the equation, then Kenya’s Safaricom was the fastest operator in the continent among those analyzed.
The chart below shows mobile performance among operators across African markets:
What do you think?