The Speedtest Global Index had in July 2021indicated that global mean of download speeds improved over the last 12 months on both mobile and fixed broadband to 55.07 Mbps and 107.50 Mbps, with the Mobile broadband having an increase of 59.5% when comparing July 2020 to July 2021 and fixed broadband had an increase of 31.9%.
What is the implication of this for the Africa and how is the continent faring?
The Digital Quality of Life (DQL) index placed Algeria as the African country with the fastest in internet speeds over the past year, compared with anywhere else in the world, with the North African country ranking first in both mobile and broadband speed growth by Surfshark, a provider of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and other cybersecurity services in its 2021 global index.
On Mobile internet stability, Algeria was not lagging behind, as it ranked 8th in the world and 86th in overall global digital quality of life ranking and 7th top African country in terms of digital services, an indication that the country was the most aggressive globally when it comes to expanding its bandwidth to further efficiency for its citizenry.
Ookla, an Internet testing, data and analytics firm in its comparative study indicated that Algeria had 17.3 Mbps in mobile download speed, while it has an upload speed of 10.1 Mbps. The firm in August placed country’s fixed broadband download and upload speeds at 9.95Mbps and 1.53 Mbps respectively.
Two other African countries, Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire both had remarkable broadband speed growth, settling for positions 9 and 10 in Africa and 92 and 93 in worldwide rankings respectively.
To rankings by DQL index took into cognizance several factors before arriving at the data it churns out. It measures digital services quality based on 5 criteria: internet quality, electronic infrastructure, internet affordability, electronic security, and electronic government.
Morocco and Nigeria also had significant broadband speed growth, settling at positions 10 and 16 globally but Nigeria in position 82 leads Morocco in position 84 in global rankings while settling in the 5th position among Africa’s top countries with high-quality digital services, ahead of Morocco who had to take the 6th spot.
The rise in index points globally may be attributed to the rise of more affordable internet in 2021, with the populace having to work 29 percent less (28 minutes) to afford mobile internet and 11 percent more (25 minutes) to afford broadband internet compared to last year.
“Investing into electronic infrastructure and electronic government contributes to people’s digital wellbeing the most,” according to the index.
In internet quality and affordability, many African countries did fairly well, recording very good rankings. Two countries, Kenya and Mauritus were exceptional on the list of best rank areas for Africa in Artificial Intelligence readiness Index.
In digital quality service, South Africa leads the pack in Africa and is globally placed at 68 out of 110 countries.
Mauritius (74), Kenya (79), Tunisia (80), and Ghana (89) ranked second third, fourth, and position eight respectively in the continent.
The sporadic rise in Broadband speed in Africa and globally may be attributed to the roll-out of the 4G and the systematic unveiling of the 5G network across board.