Over seven African countries have gone up by five positions in a new internet speed ranking, according to a Speedtest Global Index of median mobile internet download speeds by Ookla.
The activities of several telcos and government agencies to facilitate upgrades directly impacted mobile internet download speeds on the continent. “By the end of 2022, seven African countries had moved up by more than five positions in the global ranking of median mobile internet download speeds,” the report says.
The countries include Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Malawi and the Congo. Other African countries, including Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa, made less significant moves, dropping below two positions in the new internet speed ranking.
In the internet speed ranking report, Burkina Faso abandoned its position at the bottom, climbing up 22 positions to occupy 102nd place. This comes after the country completed a national fibre backbone project connecting Ouagadougou to neighbouring countries.
A partnership with Orange Telecom and off-grid network operator, Vanu will see 170 sites in the country receive technology upgrades. Even though Burkina Faso received the least from the deal, with other benefactors, including Côte d’Ivoire taking 700 sites and 200 in Liberia, the 170 sites will make significant changes for a country that was previously at the bottom of the internet speed ranking.
Nafy Coulibaly, Orange Group deputy director general running all operations in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Liberia, said at the time that the deal would make it so that no one is left behind without network coverage.
“In order to provide digital services for all, Orange will deploy its services by strategically improving and increasing its network coverage so that no one will be left behind,” Nafy Coulibaly said.
Read also: Nigeria ranks 142 in 2021 global internet speed as African countries dominate bottom 10
Other countries that went up the ladder on the internet speed ranking include Botswana by 15 slots to 47, Uganda by 15 slots to 57, Mauritius by 13 slots to 74, Sudan by 11 slots to 112, Kenya by five slots to 87, Nigeria by one slot to 92.
Egypt and South Africa saw regressions in their numbers. Egypt fell by six slots to 91, and South Africa fell by nine to 64.
But the fall and sluggish growth that affected huge African economies like South Africa and Egypt are also the results of the rising cost of living in the countries. Despite falls in their mobile rankings, their fixed broadband internet speeds shot up by four and a single position to 84 and 97, respectively.
Speedtest Global Index by Ookla, a global network intelligence and connectivity research firm also reports that another seven countries increased their fixed broadband speed rankings by a similar number of spots.
“Over the first 11 months of 2022, fixed broadband speeds grew faster (28%) than mobile download speeds (17%) compared to the Index’s November 2021 figures,” the report adds.
According to the report, countries that have made the jumps were propelled by huge investments in network infrastructure and deployment and 5G licencing deals.
“Internet connectivity continues to speed ahead for people around the world, especially as countries prioritize and improve mobile and fixed broadband networks,” analysts that carried out the Ookla Speedtest Global Index 2022 said.
The report also noted that lowly-ranked African countries were at the forefront, making the most significant strides to climb up the ladder.
Rwanda records major improvement in internet speed
The Ookla Speedtest Global Index 2022 discovered that Rwanda, for instance, jumped by 47 places in the new ranking, the biggest leap in fixed broadband speeds in this year’s report.
The east African country approved 114 fixed broadband licenses to internet service providers—including juggernauts like Liquid Telecom and mobile network operators MTN and Airtel—between 2021 and 2022.
“Accordingly, this enabled the expansion of the fibre optic network to the households and corporate services in the City of Kigali, Musanze, and Rubavu,” the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said in its annual report.
This left its internet penetration at 60.6% last year’s end, taking its international bandwidth capacity up by 29.4%.
Other countries that made strikes in the Ookla Speedtest Global Index 2022 report include Malawi moving up by nine positions to 148, Djibouti by seven positions to 153, Congo by seven positions to 103, Mauritius by five positions to 113, Lesotho by five positions to 127 and Guinea by five positions to 154.
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