SA smartphone users experience faster download speeds on mobile

16524957132 e79006bfcb zMobile analytics company Opensignal analysed the download speeds experienced by South African users when they connect to mobile networks compared to Wifi and found that cellular technology provided faster download speeds

Data from Opensignal shows that smartphone users enjoy an average download speed of 14.8 Mbps when accessing the Internet using cellular networks, measured by looking at all 3G and 4G readings, but only 8.8 Mbps in download speed when connected to Wifi.

In the last twelve months, Opensignal has observed an increase in 4G availability in the country, contributing to the increase in download speeds measured in the latest South Africa report. Three-quarters of the time, smartphone users could access the Internet over 4G networks in the first quarter of 2019.

Recent analysis, however, suggested that price is one of the vital concerns for South African smartphone users when they consume mobile data. Many users prefer to access online content over Wifi when they can find a connection available to preserve their mobile data allowances.

Opensignal’s measurements indicated that smartphone users in South Africa connect more frequently than ever before to Wifi networks. The time on Wifi metric, which represents the percentage of time mobile devices are connected to Wifi networks, increased from 36.3 per cent in early 2018 to 39.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, showing that smartphone users are now accessing the Internet via Wifi two-fifths of the time.

Opensignal published the state of Wifi vs mobile network experience report in November last year and found that users in South Africa enjoyed download speeds of 5.7 Mbps faster over cellular networks compared to Wifi. And this difference increased to 12.2 Mbps when comparing 4G-only download speeds for users to the country’s average Wifi speed for smartphone users.

Increasing numbers of users in South Africa now connect to the Internet and use their smartphones to consume data. Cisco recently estimated a 98 per cent y-o-y growth in mobile data consumption in South Africa in 2017, making it one of the top countries with the fastest growing mobile data consumption, predicting that this will grow nine-fold between 2017 and 2022.

However, the observed speed fluctuations suggested that the rise in data traffic and congestion are challenges not limited to mobile, but also common to Wifi networks. Users might consider accessing the Internet via Wifi as an alternative to mobile, but analysis of Opensignal’s data indicated that they would experience better speeds on cellular networks at all hours of the day.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?