SA’s broadband speeds: Mobile to the rescue

Vodacom, MTN and Cell C keep South Africa in touch with international broadband speeds

By - July 21, 2011

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released their latest broadband statistics recently, comparing broadband numbers from its member countries.

As part of its broadband statistics the OECD compared broadband speeds around the globe, revealing that the average broadband speed in the OECD is around 32Mbps.

According to the OECD’s broadband statistics the average speeds by technology are as follows:

  1. DSL – 14,181kbps (upload 2,478kbps)
  2. Cable – 29,732kbps (upload 2,672kbps)
  3. FTTH – 93,129kbps (upload 59,969kbps)

South African consumers have a choice of three basic ADSL services: 384kbps, 1Mbps and 4/10Mbps. The average download speed of the country’s DSL offerings is therefore 3,936kbps, well below the OECD average of 14,181kbps.

Fastest Speeds from incumbent operators

The OECD released a list of the fastest broadband speeds advertised by the incumbent telecommunication operators in their member countries across all technologies.

Here Telkom’s 10Mbps ADSL service does not compare favourably with OECD countries where top speeds range between 5Mbps (Mexico) and 1Gbps (Sweden).  The average top speed for all the countries listed is 82Mbps.

Fastest broadband speeds advertised by the incumbent telecommunication operator

Fastest broadband speeds advertised by incumbent operators (Source: OECD)

Average broadband speeds

When it comes to the overall broadband speed average in South Africa, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta come to the rescue with their high speed mobile networks.

Vodacom, MTN and Cell C are all offering consumers 21Mbps broadband access with growing 42Mbps network footprints in metropolitan areas.

When averaging the advertised network speeds for all of South Africa’s broadband services it comes to around 10Mbps, much higher than fixed line services in the country.

The following graph shows how South Africa compares with OECD countries when it comes to broadband speeds.

Average advertised broadband speeds

Average advertised broadband speeds (source: OECD)

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