Being ranked 8th in Africa sounds just about right, depending on your own experience of course. Ahead of Zimbabwe are the usual suspects, Kenya, the highest ranked country in Africa up to Nigeria, ranked 7th on the continent. It is the 105th ranking in the world which won’t quite sit right with most.
The data was compiled by Cable.co.uk from open source speed data made available by M-lab, of which Google Open Source Research is a partner. Analysis of more than 68 million broadband speed tests was made and you can access the in-depth specifics of how the data was gathered here. The data was collected for the 12 months up to May 2017.
Zimbabwe came in with an average download speed of 2.49Mbps. That figure right there actually seems high considering that most Zimbabweans access the internet on mobile broadband of which there is limited 4G coverage. There were only 1700 tests in Zimbabwe and there were only 697 distinct Ips, probably geeks with access to fast internet. Let’s take the 2.49Mbps at face value though and see what it then means.
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Kenya scored an average speed of about 9Mbps and South Africa, 4th in Africa scored 4.36Mbps. After looking at these scores our 2.49Mbps does not seem that low, it actually looks unrealistically high. For comparison though, Singapore, the highest ranked country in the world has average speeds of over 55Mbps. Now that makes our 2.49 look stone-agey.
Working with the average speeds they created a league table and compared how long it would take to download an HD movie, 7.5GB in size. In Zimbabwe, working 2.49Mbps, it would take over 6 hours and 50 minutes to download the movie. Compare that with just over 18 minutes in Singapore, 1 hour and 55 minutes in Kenya and about 1 and 3/4 days in Gabon, the lowest ranked in Africa.
Of the 189 countries tested, 139 failed to achieve average speeds of 10Mbps which are considered to be the minimum required by a typical family or small business by Ofcom. In Zimbabwe we are about 7.5Mbps short. A lot still needs to be done until we get Singapore speeds for example but we seem to be in the right direction.