The State of South Africa’s Internet: some good news

Akamai has released its Q4 2010 “State of the Internet” report, providing insights into internet speeds across the globe.

Based on data gathered from the Akamai Internet Platform, the report provides insight into key global internet statistics such as the world’s fastest and slowest regions for connection speed and the highest-performing geographies for mobile connectivity.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, over 556 million unique IP addresses from 234 countries/regions connected to the Akamai Internet Platform. This represents 4.2% more IP addresses than connected in the third quarter of 2010, and over 20% more than in the same quarter a year ago.

From a global connection speed perspective, Japan recorded the highest level of “high broadband” (>5 Mbps) connectivity, with 58% of connections to Akamai at speeds above 5 Mbps.

South Korea maintained the highest average connection speed, at 13.7 Mbps. Hong Kong recorded the highest average peak connection speed, where the per-IP address maximum connection speed was averaged across the IP addresses seen from each country.

Global average broadband speeds

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the global average connection speed remained essentially flat as compared to the third quarter, ending the year approximately 60 Kbps shy of the 2 Mbps “broadband” threshold.

The global average peak connection speed grew to 8.8 Mbps, increasing nearly 10% quarter-over-quarter, and over 30% year-over-year.

The average peak connection speed metric represents an average of the maximum measured connection speeds across all of the unique IP addresses seen by Akamai from a particular geography.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, average measured connection speeds on known mobile providers around the world ranged from 4.5 Mbps down to 134 Kbps.

Average peak connection speeds on mobile providers around the world ranged from 21.2 Mbps to just barely more than 1 Mbps.

Peak average broadband speeds
Peak average broadband speeds

South Africa’s Internet speeds

According to Akamai, South Africa’s average connection speed is well below the 2 Mbps broadband threshold.

South Africa had an average mobile connection speed of 515Kbps and an ‘average peak’ mobile speed of 1286Kbps.

The good news is that South Africa is showing strong growth in mobile connection speeds, with the average speed up 4% quarter-to-quarter and the average peak speed increasing by 39%.

This is likely to be linked to the launch of Cell C’s 21Mbps HSPA+ network, as well as speed upgrades by Vodacom and MTN.

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
Q1 2010 465 835 142
Q2 2010 522 959 216
Q3 2010 495 928 177
Q4 2010 515 1286 183

South Africa is however well below its African counterparts when it comes to mobile broadband speeds as shown in the table below.

African mobile broadband speeds
African mobile broadband speeds

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The State of South Africa’s Internet: some good news