Digital divide prevalent in SA


Mobile towers

from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
Western Cape Bureau
CAPE TOWN, (CAJ News) – THE rural and urban digital divide still poses a challenge in South Africa.

This is according to findings by Opensignal, the provider of independent insights and data.

In this analysis, it explored the substantial disparities in the mobile experience of our smartphone users between South Africa’s urban, suburban and rural areas.

In 2023, smartphone users sampled in South Africa see 14,4 percent slower Download Speed Experience.

The rural-urban gap slightly narrowed compared to 2022, where average download speeds in rural areas were 15,9 percent slower than in the cities.

Time with no signal declined from 3,2 percent in 2022 to 2,1 percent in 2023 in rural areas — although it is still around twice as high as in the cities.

Users in the rural parts of the Western Cape, Gauteng, North-West, and Free State all see average download speeds above 30Mbps.

Meanwhile, Limpopo lags behind other provinces, with a score of 18,3Mbps.

Users in Gauteng, Free State, and North-West spend the least time with no signal, with statistically tied scores of 1 percent to 1,6 percent.

Meanwhile, rural users in the Northern Cape observe the highest proportion of time with no signal, at 5,6 percent.

The rural areas of North-West see the highest share of mobile-only smartphone users in South Africa— almost 23 percent, followed by Free States’ 17 percent and Mpumalanga’s 16,9 percent.

Western Cape is the only province in South Africa where the proportion of mobile-only rural users is below 10 percent.

– CAJ News

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