While it’s easy to lament the cost of data locally as well as poor network quality, South Africa actually has it pretty good when it comes to mobile internet, at least according to Opensignal’s State of Mobile Network Experience report.

The report looks at 87 nations but recently Opensignal took a closer look at the African market and compared the mobile experience of 10 countries.

Those countries are:

  • South Africa
  • Tunisia
  • Morocco
  • Kenya
  • Egypt
  • Ivory Coast
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Ghana
  • Algeria

For South Africans the good news is that the download experience is the best in Africa, with average download speeds clocking in at 15Mbps.

Image and data courtesy Opensignal.

“In our most recent South Africa Mobile Network Experience report, we found two operators had Download Speed Experience scores over 17 Mbps. But the other two players scored around the 10 Mbps mark, pulling down the national average and showing a pattern we’ve observed of a ‘two tier’ mobile network experience in the country,” said Opensignal.

Tunisia ranked second in download experience with an average download speed of 13.4Mbps. Algeria scored the worst with an average download speed of just 3.1Mbps.

While South Africa’s download speeds are the best on the continent, the same cannot be said for 4G availability.

In that regard Senegal leads the way with 77.2 percent 4G availability followed by Morocco and South Africa with 76.8 percent and 75.9 percent availability respectively.

Image and data courtesy Opensignal.

The reason for Senegal’s lead is its advanced LTE-A network made possible by Orange and Tigo’s 4G solution which increased availability from 61.9 percent in 2018 to 77.2 percent in 2019.

South Africa’s 4G availability grew by just six percentage points in the same period while Ghana actually saw 4G availability drop from 66 percent in 2018 to 61.2 percent in 2019.

Of the 10 countries analysed, Opensignal found that the video experience differed wildly on the continent.

While South Africa and Tunisia have a “Good” video experience rating, the other eight countries vary from Fair to Poor. Poor video experience is characterised by frequent stalling during playback, long loading times and low resolution video.

“Since 4G is still in its infancy in many African markets, a large proportion of the continent’s mobile networks are not yet suited to delivering a good mobile video experience,” Opensignal explained.

The good news for the continent is that mobile internet is improving and rather quickly we might add.

If other countries adopt a similar approach to the roll-out of 4G as Senegal has, perhaps Africa could be come a dominate force in this report in a few years.

[Image – CC 0 Unsplash]