New research from the company behind the prevalent speedtest.net website has revealed that fixed broadband speeds in South Africa have doubled in just three years. With residents from Johannesburg enjoying the fastest average performance.
The research body noted that despite the progress, South Africa ranks 95th worldwide, with a median download speed of 35.9Mbit/s and a median upload speed of 29.6Mbit/s.
According to Ookla, South Africa is climbing the global rankings and, in the past four years, has “come a long way in terms of fixed network performance.”
The research reveals that Telkom is no longer the default wholesale infrastructure provider, which was the case with DSL. In July 2019, South Africa ranked 112th, with fixed median download and upload speeds of just under 10Mbit/s and 5.6Mbit/s, respectively.
Ookla indicated that significant investments in fibre infrastructure and aggressive competition between leading market players, including Vumatel, Openserve and MetroFibre Networx, positively impact the quality of fixed broadband connections in the country.
In a statement about its latest findings, Ookla said, “South Africa still has a long way to go to catch up with other BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China. Telecommunications regulator Icasa could consider setting a minimum broadband speed to stimulate market adoption outside urban areas, which are currently underserved.”
“With only 10 per cent of households connected to [fixed] broadband, there is considerable room for growth, and operators are looking to extend fibre beyond affluent areas. South Africa is home to a complex fibre market with alternative Internet service providers competing for market share using open fibre networks deployed by Telkom’s wholesale division, Openserve, and alternative fibre network operators such as Vumatel,” it added.
Ookla noted, “The increasing competition in South Africa has given birth to a very competitive and vibrant fibre wholesale market. South Africa is experiencing a boom in fibre network operators, with over 30 FNOs deploying their own infrastructure and sharing it with other operators on an open-access basis.”