Safaricom has the third fastest internet speeds in Africa, report

Speedtest Intelligence report by Ookla has ranked Safaricom 3rd among African countries with the fastest internet speeds, just behind South Africa’s MTN and Vodacom South Africa.

The data shows that Safaricom’s download speed stood at 36.25 Mbps while the average upload speed stood at 13.83 Mbps in Q2 2022. MTN South Africa’s average download speed was 65.95 Mbps while Vodacom South Africa’s download speed averaged at 48.71 Mbps.

Ookla says that South Africa’s fast download speeds have been facilitated by wide 5G connectivity, which has taken off much better than other countries.

“We can clearly see the impact that 5G has on overall performance as South African operators came first thanks to having 5G networks in place.” the firm says.

The report also revealed that has signed a multi-year contract with satellite provider Intelsat to modernize its network and expand LTE coverage. The telco is focusing more on 4G rather than pursuing 5G as the cost of 5G handsets is prohibitive and slowing down its 5G expansion, the report reveals.

Safaricom’s partnership with Google which has seen customers acquire 4G-enabled phones using pay-later plans was also lauded for enabling more internet uptake. “The operator’s ultimate target is to upgrade about four million 2G and 3G phones to 4G. Safaricom had also partnered with Vivo to sell 4G phones.”

Airtel Kenya was ranked 9th in the report with average download speeds of 28.58 Mbps and upload speeds of 8.44 Mbp. Telkom Kenya did not feature on the top 20 fastest telcos in Africa.

“Comparing Airtel and MTN performance across the three countries they operate in, Airtel took the top spot in Nigeria, both in terms of median download and upload speed in Q2 2022, while in Uganda and Rwanda there were no winners.” The report says.

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Simon W Nderitu

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