Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018

Internet access and smartphone ownership is growing at a fast rate in Africa with mobile phone users increasing by more than 20%. GSMA Intelligence reports that 60% of the mobile connections are now broadband.

The number of mobile users and innovations in several African countries is now on the rise bringing forth more technologies that are solving current challenges in sectors such as agriculture, employment, medical services and transportation.

According to the Digital in 2018 Report by social media marketing companies Hootsuite and We are Social, more than 200 million people got their first mobile device in 2017 and two-thirds of the world’s 7.6 billion inhabitants (5.14 billion) now have a mobile phone.

The number of internet users in Benin, Sierra Leone, Niger, and Mozambique has more than doubled over the past year. The growth in internet users has been driven by more affordable mobile data plans and smartphones such as Tecno, Spice and Infinix.

Facebook users in Africa in 2017 were estimated at 177 million (Internet World Stats) and mobile penetration rates remain below 50 percent across much of Central Africa.

This ranking is based on a monthly updated list by Speedtest Intelligence. The speeds have increased by more than 30% since 2017.

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre
Internet access and smartphone ownership is growing at a fast rate in Africa with mobile phone users increasing by more than 20%. (Image credit: TechCentral.com)

The list of the top 14 African countries with the fastest mobile Internet based on results from May, 2018:

14. Libya

Download speed: 4.31Mbps | Upload speed: 1.25Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Libya has undergone a lot of political and social instability. The country has one of the highest levels of GDP per capita in Africa because of its oil exports and yet entry into the telecom market is still low.

Libyana which is the largest and main mobile network provider maybe the only one providing 3G broadband services in the country. Libya ranks 125th globally and 14th in Africa.

13. Algeria

Download speed: 7.53Mbps | Upload speed: 4.86Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Algeria has put a lot of effort to expand its access to mobile broadband eversince it issued LTE licenses in September, 2016. It Is looking to do this through its Universal Service Telecommunications (UTS) program supported by its national fibre backbone which is linked to Valencia and will connect to the terrestrial Trans-Saharan backbone soon.

The main telecom players are Mobilis, Djezzy, and Ooredoo. Algeria ranks 121th globally and 13th in Africa.

12. Ghana

Download speed: 7.88Mbps | Upload speed: 4.27Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Ghana has about 36.6 million mobile subscriptions with an estimated 7.96 million internet users. Jumia reports this number at 10.11 million active internet users which puts one third of the nation online and active.

According to a 2017 report by Hootsuite and we are social, Ghana has 5.6 million social media users with 4.9 million being active users. Ghana ranks 118 globally and 12 in Africa.

11. Senegal

Download speed: 8.25Mbps | Upload speed: 4.19Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Sonatel, Orange Group’s local subsidiary is the largest telecom in Senegal in both the mobile and fixed line sectors. It was given a 17-year LTE license to provide 70% population coverage within five years and 90% by the end of 10 years.

Sonatel’s largest competitors are Tigo (23% market share) and Sudatel’s Expresso (21% market share). Senegal ranks 116th globally and 11th in Africa.

10. Uganda

Download speed: 8.55Mbps | Upload speed: 3.96Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre
Uganda ranked as tenth with the fastest mobile Internet speeds in Africa.

The actual number of mobile subscribers in Uganda remains contested, some agencies have put it at 17 million people and others at 19 million. In 2017, the internet penetration rate was 44% and a study by Jumia revealed 77% of their traffic came from mobile.

The country has 2.8 million social media users with 2.6 million accessing social media through mobile. UCC revealed a 14.5% (1.6 million new subscribers) growth in subscribers. The main telecom players are MTN, Airtel, Africell and Smile after Vodafone bailed out of the market earlier this year.

Uganda ranks 115th globally and 10th in Africa.

9. Tanzania

Download speed: 9.13Mbps | Upload speed: 4.94Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), internet users in Tanzania increased by 16% at the end of 2017 to make 23 million internet subscribers. The TCRA also noted that at least 99.6% of these were mobile network subscriptions.

The main mobile operators in the country are Vodacom and Tigo. Tanzania ranks 112th globally and 9th in Africa.

8. Nigeria

Download speed: 10.04Mbps | Upload speed: 4.23Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Nigeria has 84% (162 million subscribers) mobile penetration out of its population of 193 million people. According to the ITU, the country’s internet penetration is at 47%. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reported 90 million active mobile internet subscriptions on both GSM and CDMA in April, 2017.

NTel launced Nigeria’s first LTE-Advanced network in the same year. Nigeria ranks 108th globally and 8th in Africa.

7. Namibia

Download speed: 10.82Mbps | Upload speed: 8.19Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Namibia increased mobile phone network coverage by 95% in 2017 and recorded 1.6 million internet users (61.8%) out of a population of 2.59 million people. More than 470,000 people access the internet through their mobile devices compared to the 80,000 that use a Personal Computer (PC) or tablet.

Namibia ranks 106th globally and 7th in Africa.

6. Mauritius

Download speed: 13.24Mbps | Upload speed: 5.84Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Mauritius has the highest mobile subscription penetration in East Africa at over 70%. The country launched WiMAX wireless broadband in 2005, 3G services in 2014 and the government is planning to build a national WiFi network starting this year.

4G access has played a crucial role in connectivity and the country is migrating from voice to data services. The main network operators are Mauritius Telecom, Emtel and Mahanagar. Mauritius ranks 101 globally and 6th in Africa.

5. Côte d’Ivoire

Download speed: 14.71Mbps | Upload speed: 8.46Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Côte d’Ivoire launched LTE coverage that covers 80% of its population. The main telecom players are Orange, MTN, Moov and some with small reigns like Comium, LapGreen and Café Mobile.

Côte d’Ivoire ranks 91st globally and 5th in Africa.

4. Kenya

Download speed: 15.39Mbps | Upload speed: 7.82Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Kenya has a mobile penetration of more than 83% and the Kenya ICT Authority reported that ICT sector contributed 8% to the national GDP in 2017. The country has more than 25 digital credit providers and a very active mobile market.

More affordable mobile phone brands like Tecno and Infinix has increased the number of smartphone users drastically with Jumia Kenya reporting more than 97% smartphones sold compared to 3% feature phones and 68% of these sales being in Nairobi.

Major telecoms in Kenya are Safaricom, Airtel, Liquid Telecom, Telkom Kenya, AccessKenya, Jamii Tecommunications (Faiba) and Wananchi Group (Zuku). Kenya ranks 87th globally and 4th in Africa.

3. Egypt

Download speed: 15.89Mbps | Upload speed: 7.67Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Egypt’s Ministry of Communication reported 98.2 million mobile phone subscriptions and 26.16 million internet subscribers in 2017 out of an estimated population 97.5 million people at the time.

The country made its own first locally manufactured phone in North Africa by a company called SICO Technology which is affiliated to the Ministry of Communication. SICO mobile phones are made at a factory in Assiut and 45% of components used are all local making it more affordable.

Major telecoms in Egypt are Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat, Telecom Egypt and Immarsat. Egypt ranks 85th globally and 3rd in Africa.

2. Morocco

Download speed: 18.52Mbps | Upload speed: 9.08Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) of Morocco report a 64.74% internet penetration in 2017. Morocco has 44.25 million phone subscribers with 22.56 million connected to the internet and 21.24 million of these accessing it through mobile.

Morocco launched 3G services in 2006 and 4G in 2015. Morocco was ranked highest in STEM and innovation in the Africa Capacity Report in 2017. Major telecoms in Morocco include: Maroc Telecom, Orange, Inwi, Vivendi and Zain.

Morocco ranks 72nd globally and 2nd in Africa.

1. Tunisia

Download speed: 19.21Mbps | Upload speed: 7.99Mbps

Top 14 African Countries with the Fastest Mobile Internet 2018 - Newslibre

Tunisia has the fastest mobile internet speed in Africa with 19.21Mbps. According to GSMA Intelligence as of July, 2018; Tunisia is estimated to have 8.5 million mobile connections, 5.7 million internet subscribers (CIA World Factbook) and the sector more than $1.08 trillion at the end of the 2017 financial year.

The country expanded its startup scene after the 2011 revolution and was ranked number 1 in Africa by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) for its strides in innovation. It has put effort in increasing access to faster and more open internet access to advance technology.

Tunisia ranks 71st globally and 1st in Africa.

**The syndication of this list is based on several factors, but primarily the countries ranked in each category must have at least 670 unique user results for mobile and 3,333 users for fixed broadband.

**The syndication of this list is based on several factors, but primarily the countries ranked in each category must have at least 670 unique user results for mobile and 3,333 users for fixed broadband.

Sources:

1. Speedtest Intelligence

2. IT News Africa

3. Morocco Internet Usage

4. Telecommunications Statistics and Reports

5. Africa Capacity Report 2017 (PDF)

6. CIA World Factbook (2018)

7. Internet World Stats (2018)

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Author: Lawrence

Lawrence writes about tech, lifestyle, politics, business, crypto and occasionally entertainment. He writes for Newslibre and Spur Magazine while consulting with numerous international companies on strategy, community management and marketing.

He has contributed to the journalism, open source, film, youth, web, Andela and Mozilla communities.

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