How long it takes to download a typical HD movie in South Africa

Global broadband speeds are up 23% over the past year, climbing from 7.40Mbps in the 12 months to 10 May 2017 to 9.10Mbps in the 12 months to 29 May 2018, according to a new report from M-Lab in partnership with  Cable, a UK-based telecoms comparison site.

The findings come from more than 163 million tests carried out on networks from 200 countries, including South Africa.

“Before you paint a picture that broadband provision is improving globally based on the 23% jump in average global speed year-on-year, consider that, on average, the top 100 countries in the table have gained 5.43Mbps while the bottom 100 in the table have gained by an average of only 0.41Mbps,” the report’s authors stressed.

The top 100, they noted, have proportionately faster speeds to begin with, “so we really need to look at the percentage increases to see what’s actually going on. Not including new entries, the top 100 countries have increased their average broadband speed by 29.04%. The bottom 100 countries have increased their average broadband speed by 24.22%.”

If you take the top 25 versus the bottom 25, for example, the top 25 increased their speeds by an average of 28.88%, while the bottom 25 have gained only 7.40%.

“The gap is widening, with faster progress correlating with higher placement in the league table. Another way to look at this would be to say that the top 25 countries are responsible for 45.30% of the total growth, while the bottom 25 are responsible for an almost negligible 0.19% of the total growth,” the report’s authors said.

Singapore ranks as the world’s fastest country for the second year running with average speeds of 60.39Mbps, with Yemen coming in last again at an average speed of just 0.31Mbps.

Madagascar is the fastest African nation, clocking in at an average speed of 24.87Mbps, placing it 22nd globally.

“This is thanks to the underwater EASSy cable that supplies the island’s urban centres with respectable fibre broadband speeds. Most other African nations aren’t so lucky, with 7 out of the 38 included nations having to get by on average speeds of less than 1Mbps.”

Kenya is ranked second in Africa (64th overall), with South Africa third (76th), up four places from 2017, and with a mean download speed of 6.38 Mbps – and 01:47:03 –  the time it would take to download a typical HD movie (5GB).

Top 10 countries

Rank Country Mean download speed (Mbps) Rank in 2017 Time to download an HD movie (5GB)
1 Singapore 60.39 1 00:11:18
2 Sweden 46.00 2 00:14:50
3 Denmark 43.99 4 00:15:31
4 Norway 40.12 7 00:17:01
5 Romania 38.60 18 00:17:41
6 Belgium 36.71 8 00:18:36
7 Netherlands 35.95 5 00:18:59
8 Luxembourg 35.14 33 00:19:26
9 Hungary 34.01 15 00:20:04
10 Jersey 30.90 14 00:22:06

South Africa

Rank Country Mean download speed (Mbps) Rank in 2017 Time to download an HD movie (5GB)
76 South Africa 6.38 80 01:47:03

Bottom 10 countries

Rank Country Mean download speed (Mbps) Rank in 2017 Time to download an HD movie (5GB)
191 DRC 0.85 196 13:20:51
192 Burkina Faso 0.84 187 13:35:45
193 Niger 0.83 New 13:43:52
194 Syria 0.81 183 14:04:44
195 Mauritania 0.70 115 16:14:21
196 Guinea 0.65 175 17:28:13
197 Somalia 0.60 185 18:56:23
198 Turkmenistan 0.56 142 20:22:25
199 East Timor 0.49 New 23:13:15
200 Yemen 0.31 189 36:52:20

Read: Broadband is not just about fast internet access: Huawei

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