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African Broadband Speed Classifications

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There is a lot of excitment and even more potential from fibre cables encircling Africa.  Currently, the download speeds suggest three groups of countries.

1) Fast, but sporadic – Ghana and Rwanda are the high achievers, basically at US circa 2008 speeds.

2) Moderate, with steady growth: Kenya stands out, but like Uganda and South Africa, it is exemplary of a rather constant growth rate since 1999. Namibia, though showing lower speeds, has also demonstrated stable growth during the same period.

3) Still slow – All other countries are below 1500 kbps. Ignoring some early data noise in Malawi and Madagascar, only Botswana has demonstrated speeds near 2000kbps.

Will there is a bit of oversimplification, ¬†these groupings should help us to understand what policy should focus on. For group 1, it’s suring up stable connection speeds. Group 2, it’s maintaining stead growth rates or achieving a positive shock (EASSy or SEACOM improvements) to get to the level of Group 1. For Group 3, where infrastructure is thinnest, the focus may still be to focus on connectivity.

Zimbabwe and Mozambique don’t fit nicely into any of these categories. Zimbabwe’s data speeds are strikingly low pre-2011, possibly a change in data collection techniques or correlated with the opening of the economy? And Mozambique has progressed and regressed constantly

HT kenyanpundit


Written by Niall

May 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Africa

Tagged with , ,