Symbol image: cell tower

Telecommunication in South Africa

Compared to the European Union, South Africa has a slight downturn in the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +27, there were a total of 98.06 million connections in 2020. Among them were 95.96 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 1.6 per person. In the EU, this figure is 1.2 mobile phones per person.

With about 4.76 million webhosts, South Africa is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 855,339 million of these, or about 18 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: South Africa

Development of telephone and internet connections

With an average download speed of 30.64 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, South Africa ranked 98th in an international comparison. The upload rate was only 24.34 Mbit/second (62nd place). The quality of the Internet, consisting of signal fluctuations (jitter) and latency, is very far ahead at 5th place.
In mobile internet, i.e. on tablets and smartphones, South Africa comes 56th with a download speed of 32.60 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 7 Mbit was only enough for 120th place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2022 from 181 countries.

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and Internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100% mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the Internet in South Africa from 1990 - 2020

Broadband internet in South Africa 2002 - 2020

Symbol image: cell towerSouth Africa is lagging behind in the expansion of broadband Internet connections. Around 70% of all residents have access to the Internet. Around 2% have their own fast Internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the Internet via mobile communications.

Landlines 1990 - 2020

Mobile phones 1990 - 2020

Distribution in 2020South Africa
South Africa
Internet users41.52 m70.00 %379.21 m84.74 %
Broadband users1.30 m2.20 %163.72 m36.59 %
Landlines2.10 m3.54 %160.15 m35.79 %
Mobile cellulars95.96 m161.80 %540.56 m120.80 %

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