State of South Africa’s Internet

Latest Akamai ‘The State of the Internet’ report reveals where South Africa fits into the global Internet landscape

By - January 26, 2011
State of South Africa’s Internet

Akamai recently released its Q3 2010 “State of the Internet” report, providing insights into Internet speeds across the world. 

This report includes data gathered from across Akamai’s global server network during the third quarter of 2010 about attack traffic, broadband adoption, and mobile connectivity, as well as trends seen in this data over time.

Akamai observed a global increase of 6.6% (from the second quarter of 2010) in the number of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai’s network, growing to over 530 million from 235 countries/regions.

From a global connection speed perspective, South Korea continued to have the highest level of “high broadband” (higher than 5 Mbps) connectivity, with 72% of connections to Akamai at speeds above 5 Mbps.

South Korea also maintained the highest average connection speed, at 14 Mbps (down from 17 Mbps in the second quarter), and recorded the highest average peak connection speed, at 39 Mbps, where the per-IP address maximum connection speed was averaged across the IP addresses seen from each country.

Cities in South Korea and Japan continued to hold many of the top spots in the rankings of highest average and average peak connection speeds by city as well.

Globally average connection speeds increased, getting close to the 2 Mbps “broadband” threshold – a connection speed which is sufficient for standard definition TV-quality video content.

South Africa’s Internet speeds

According to Akamai, South Africa’s average connection speed is well below the 2 Mbps broadband threshold. SA was in fact one of the 86 countries which had an average connection speeds below 1 Mbps.

When it comes to mobile broadband South Africa had an average mobile connection speed of 495 Kbps and an ‘average peak’ mobile speed of 928 Kbps.

It is interesting to note that the latest Akamai report shows that mobile broadband speeds in South Africa declined from Q2 2010 when the average speed was 522 Kbps while the average peak mobile connection speed was 959 Kbps.

The following table shows the mobile broadband speed trends in 2010:

Akamai Report: Mobile Connection Speeds & Data Consumption
  Average Kbps Peak Kbps Average monthly usage
Q4 2009 485
Q1 2010 465 835 142
Q2 2010 522 959 216
Q3 2010 495 928 177

It is likely that the average mobile broadband speed in South Africa will increase in the last quarter of 2010 due to launch and growth of Cell C’s 21 Mbps HSPA+ network across the country.

The worst Internet speeds in the world

Things could be far worse. According to the report two countries, Cuba and Mayotte, had average connection speeds below 100 Kbps.

Cuba’s average connection speed fell just below the threshold at 93 Kbps, while Mayotte remained the country with the lowest average connection speed, at 51 Kbps.

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