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South Africa Mobile Broadband is one of the Fastest in the World

02 May, 2013
ICT Africa Writer
May 2, 2013

A CISCO Systems study commissioned by Bloomberg has ranked South Africa mobile Internet speed among the 20 fastest in the world. South Africa was ranked 12th, ahead of Russia, China, Brazil, India and four others.

South Africa’s average mobile broadband speed was reported to be 0.674Mbps. Canada was ranked first with an average speed of 4.529Mbps while the United States was a distant second, with an average speed of 2.46Mbps. South Africa was projected to rank even better by 2017 with an average speed of 6.307Mbps and 10th in the world.

In ICT Africa ’s latest article, Digital Apartheid , we reported that South Africa ranked high in the Networked Readiness category of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2013 Global Technology Report . However, South Africa ranked very poorly on mobile wireless affordability and was found to be among the most expensive. Our own analysis suggested that South Africa’s mobile broadband services could be the most expensive in Africa.

The Bloomberg report is obviously corroborating the findings of the WEF report and our assertion that South Africa has a relatively well developed ICT infrastructure. This underscores our insistence that South Africa’s ICT capacity should manifest itself in the ability of the majority of people being able to afford basic connectivity. It does not make sense for the wealthiest African nation with a well-developed ICT infrastructure to have the most unaffordable mobile broadban in Africa.

If South Africa wants to assume a leading role in Africa’s ICT race, they should demonstrate that by enabling more South African’s to have access to ICT services, not by hanging on to a pricing structure that renders broadband services unaffordable for most South Africans.


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