Internet speeds improved in North Africa over last four quarters
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 June 2021:
A report by Speedtest Intelligence of Ookla reveals that every North African nation improved their mobile and fixed broadband speeds from Q2 2020 to Q1 2021, despite huge setbacks in the global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ookla describes itself as the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence, testing applications and technology.
This report explores the state of internet performance in the North African countries of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia from Q2 2020 through Q1 2021. It also examines which mobile and fixed broadband providers in these countries had the best speeds, consistency and 4G Availability during Q1 2021.
Morocco has the fastest mobile download speeds in North Africa, Egypt is fastest for fixed broadband
Analysis based on data from Speedtest Intelligence shows internet speeds varied widely across North Africa during Q1 2021, with every country except Egypt experiencing faster median mobile download speeds than fixed broadband speeds. Internet speeds over the past year — Q2 2020 to Q1 2021 — increased for both mobile and fixed broadband in every country in North Africa.
North Africa isn’t isolated in this improvement: earlier this year, Ookla® partnered with the World Bank to analyze internet performance in 18 African countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study showed that overall internet speeds slowed during lockdowns.
Morocco had the fastest median mobile download speed (25.53 Mbps). Tunisia was second (21.28 Mbps), Egypt third (14.95 Mbps), Libya fourth (11.65 Mbps) and Algeria fifth (9.76 Mbps).
Large increases in median mobile download speeds: Libya showing largest percentage increase of 67.4%
The report says many North Africans have become mobile-first internet users as 3G and 4G performance and coverage continue to improve. From Q2 2020 to Q1 2021, every North African country (except Egypt) saw large increases in median mobile download speeds, with Libya showing the largest percentage increase (67.4%) followed by Algeria (65.1%), Morocco (10.7%), Tunisia (10.0%) and Egypt (0.1%).
While Egypt trails in mobile internet speeds, it excels for fixed broadband speeds. During Q1 2021, Egypt had the fastest median download speed over fixed broadband in North Africa at 26.58Mbps (4.82 Mbps upload). Morocco was second for download (10.01 Mbps), Libya was third (8.71 Mbps), Tunisia was fourth (6.95 Mbps) and Algeria fifth (4.09 Mbps).
Every country in North Africa, with the exception of Tunisia, saw its median fixed broadband speeds improve more than 25% from Q2 2020 to Q1 2021, with Algeria more than doubling its median fixed broadband download speed at 105.5%. Egypt was second most improved at 94.6%, Libya was third (59.8%), Morocco was fourth (28.5%) and Tunisia was fifth at 12.3%.
Performance by provider varied widely by country
During Q1 2021, the report said the North African mobile operators showed a wide range of performance across the region. Morocco’s Maroc Telecom had the fastest median mobile download and upload speeds in North Africa during Q1 2021 at 40.32 Mbps and 12.60 Mbps, respectively. Egypt’s WE Internet had the fastest median download speed over fixed broadband at 30.60 Mbps while Libya’s LTC had the fastest median upload speed at 7.46 Mbps.
Morocco had the best 4G Availability in North Africa during Q1 2021 with all three of its top providers leading the region, including: inwi (78.6%), Maroc Telecom (78.0%) and Orange (77.4%). Outside of Morocco, Tunisia’s Ooredoo had the next best 4G Availability at 76.9%.
Mobile consistency varied widely across North Africa during Q1 2021, with Morocco’s Maroc Telecom showing the best consistency at 89.1%. Tunisia’s Tunisie Telecom had the next best consistency at 86.7%.
The report says during Q1 2021, Libyana had the fastest median download and upload speeds over mobile in Libya at 13.49 Mbps and 7.03 Mbps, respectively, as well as the best mobile consistency with a Consistency Score of 67.8%. Almadar Aljadid came in second for speeds (10.71 Mbps download // 3.62 Mbps upload) and mobile consistency (63.8%). Almadar Aljadid had the best 4G Availability at 37.3% while Libyana showed 30.5%.