Akamai released its Third Quarter (Q3) 2012 State of the Internet report recently, revealing that South Africa’s mobile Internet connection speed was lower than nearly all operators surveyed.
The report, which is based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, shows that the mobile operator surveyed in South Africa (the company is not identified) had an average connection speed of 569kbps.
According to Akamai the average connection speeds on surveyed mobile network providers ranged from a high of 7.8Mbps to a low of 324kbps.
Seven providers showed average connection speeds in the “broadband” (higher than 4Mbps) range. An additional 68 mobile providers had average connection speeds greater than 1 Mbps.
Average peak connection speeds for the quarter ranged from 39.2Mbps down to 2.8Mbps. The bad news is that the South African operator accounted for the 2.8Mbpos figure.
“Only two mobile providers had average peak connection speeds below the 4 Mbps broadband threshold – Canadian provider CA-2 at 2.9Mbps, and South African provider ZA-1 at 2.8Mbps,” the report highlighted.
South Africa is considered to be one of the countries on the forefront of mobile technologies, which makes it surprising that the average speed is at the bottom of the international list.
This may partly be due to the fact that many South Africans access the Internet through mobile devices which are not capable of handling the higher speeds.
Another possible explanation is that many people in rural areas access the Internet using a GPRS/EDGE network (and hence do not have access to higher 3G or LTE speeds).