Kenya leads East Africa in internet download speed, coverage

 Kenya has the fastest mobile download speed in East African, a new report shows, buoyed by investment in internet connectivity.

 Latest Speadchecker Africa’s Mobile Network Champion report shows that Kenya’s download speed is 10.66 mb/s, a head of Rwanda (7.65 mb/s), Uganda (7.55 mb/s), Tanzania (6.95 mb/s) and Burundi (5.1 mb/s).

 Kenya’s download internet speed was collected from 137,495 Safaricom users.

The country’s internet speed, however, trails countries such as Morocco (23.57 mb/s), South Africa (19.20), Tunisia (18.19 mb/s), Mali (15.76 mb/s), Malawi (13.71 mb/s), among others.

 African countries with slow download speed  are Central African Republic (3.97 mb/s), Mauritania (4.23 mb/s), Libya (4.28 mb/s), and Burundi (5.1 mb/s.

 Other countries in this category include  Algeria (5.4 mb/s), Benin (6.28 mb/s), Niger (6.7 mb/s), Cameroon (6.78 mb/s), Somalia (6.95 mb/s), and  Tanzania (6.95 mb/s), among others.

 Kenya is also ahead of the region in terms of coverage score with 811 followed by Uganda (689), Tanzania (560) and Rwanda (551).

In Africa, Kenya ranks number six, Uganda (15), Tanzania (28) and Rwanda (30). Mauritius leads with 928 followed by Comoros (887), Seychelles (848), Egypt (844) and South Africa (816).

 Least covered nations are Eritrea (315), Central African Republic (347), Mauritania (361), Ethiopia (402), Niger (403), Burundi (430) and Sierra Leone (434).

 This comes at a time when tech firms are investing millions of shillings in Kenya’s internet infrastructure to meet high demand for broadband.

 In February, mixed development developer Tatu City got a telecom operating licence by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) to offer its residents and businesses internet services.

 CA licensed Tatu Telecom Company, the trading entity, as a Network Facilities Provider (NFP) Tier 2 and Application Service Provider (ASP).

 The authorisation allowed Tatu to construct, install and operate electronic communications systems as well as electronic communications services at its 5,000-acre mixed development at Ruiru in Kiambu County.

Also the Pan-African cloud and data centres provider PAIX Data Centres received $20 million (Sh2.3 billion) funding to expand its services across the continent.

 The series B funding, which forms the first tranche, came from Africa50, an African infrastructure investment platform.

 The firm, which currently operates two data centres in Kenya and Ghana, will fund the company’s data centre capacity expansion and growth plans into new African data centre markets.

 Despite high internet speed and coverage in the region, data charges in Kenya remain high, denying millions access to affordable internet services.

 A 2020 report by technology think tank, Research ICT Africa, 1GB Basket Statistics showed that Kenya is among EA countries with costly mobile internet data per 1GB.

 The report revealed that Tanzania charges the lowest in East Africa at Sh218, followed by Rwanda at Sh220, Kenya at Sh244, Uganda at Sh273 and Burundi Sh302 as at September 2019. The countries rank fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth and eleventh respectively in Africa with Egypt, which charges Sh121, leading the park.

 The report, which was done from January 2021 to December 2022, was collected from end user devices running Android and iOS systems across the continent.

 This comes after the Kenya Power said that it will start selling high-speed internet to businesses in the race to diversify its revenues and capitalize on growing data usage in the country.

 It will now battle for internet customers with Safaricom, Wananchi Group (Zuku) and Jamii Telecoms that control 85.1 percent of Kenya fixed data market.

 Official data from the Communications Authority (CA) shows that Safaricom controls 37 percent of the market or 284,420 home and office connections followed by the Wananchi-owned Zuku at 29.4 percent or 224,124 connections.

 Jamii Telecoms is the third biggest player in the market with a share of 18.9 percent (145,337 connections) while Poa Internet has 69,906 connections (9.1 percent).

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