Safaricom’s mobile network tops Ookla’s 2017 Speedtest awards is a popular way of testing and benchmarking network speeds. You may or may not have used it to see what your service provider is giving you. The service, run by Ookla, a company that specializes in providing network diagnostics tools and conducting broadband testing, as such, has a good idea what’s really happening as far as the speeds we get every time we go online are concerned.

According to Ookla’s determination, arrived at after looking at the speed tests conducted by a sample of mobile users in the country (see explainer), telecommunications company Safaricom’s mobile network is the fastest.

Safaricom achieved a speed score of 19.80 “with average download speeds of 21.25 Mbps and average upload speeds of 9.67 Mbps.”

Telkom Kenya comes in second with a speed score of 15.12. Airtel Kenya comes a distant third with a speed score of just 8.62.


This is not quite surprising, though. Back in June, Safaricom announced the start of its rollout of 4G+ network in cities and major towns across the country. With over 100 sites activated, more users are able to access mobile internet at faster speeds (theoretically up to 150 Mbps) which gives the mobile network operator a leg up over the competition.

Telkom Kenya just rolled out its 4G internet services the other day while Airtel Kenya is still stuck on third-generation network technologies even though it’s public knowledge that it has been testing 4G for a while now. As has Jamii Telecom (JTL) which has since acquired the nod to operate in the mobile space from the industry regulator, the Communications Authority of Kenya.

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According to the latest data [PDF] from the authority, the total number of internet subscriptions in the country stands at almost 30 million, 99% of which are mobile data subscriptions like the one polled by Ookla during the second and third quarters this year.

As per the data from Ookla, Nairobi has the fastest mobile network speeds in the country with Mombasa and Nakuru following in that order.

With the uptake of 4G-capable devices on the rise thanks to better mobile device deals every other day, these numbers will be interesting to look at when the figures for the fourth quarter are available.

You can have a peek at the report here.

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