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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Study finds South Africa’s 5G network lagging compared to other countries

Ookla compared webpage loading speeds for Google, YouTube and Facebook using 4G and 5G networks in South Africa and other countries.


South Africa’s 5G network is not particularly quick and living up to expectations.

This is according to a study by Ookla, the owner of internet speed check website Speedtest.net.

Ookla compared webpage loading speeds for Google, YouTube and Facebook using 4G and 5G networks in South Africa, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain and the United States.

5G in South Africa

Ookla said 5G lived up to the latency promise, showing a faster page load speed than 4G on all services in all countries it surveyed.

“However, the improvement was not the same in all places, with Canada topping the list of fastest page load speed over 5G on all the services we surveyed while South Africa had the slowest 5G page load speed on Google and YouTube of countries reviewed.”

It said Speedtest data shows 5G delivered a much better page load speed than 4G on all three services in South Africa during the first quarter of 2024.

“Google loaded 22% faster on 5G than 4G, YouTube was 27% faster on 5G and Facebook was 36% faster.”

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Nigeria and Canada

Ookla’s analysis also revealed 5G loads up to 47% faster than 4G in Nigeria.

“Google loaded 24% faster on 5G than 4G, YouTube was 27% faster, and Facebook was a whopping 47% faster on 5G.”

Canada’s 5G page load speed was the fastest or among the fastest for all countries analysed with the country having the fastest page load speed on Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

“Our analysis demonstrated that 5G delivered a decently faster page load speed than 4G on all three services in Canada during Q1 2024. YouTube loaded 16% faster on 5G than 4G, Google was 18% faster, and Facebook was 23% faster on 5G.”

United States

Speedtest data from the US shows 5G loads 21-26% faster than 4G.

Google loaded 21% faster on 5G than on 4G, YouTube was 22% faster, and Facebook was 26% faster on 5G.

While 5G cellular technologies’ key features and benefits include enhanced mobile broadband capabilities, higher capacity and increased bandwidth, compared to 4G, the technology has failed to live up to promises.

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