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Nigeria’s Internet speed ranks 16th in Africa as Airtel emerges fastest operator

• Report claims MTN has widest coverage in country
• ‘Why NCC’s 112 emergency number is central to successful ambulance services’

Nigeria’s Internet speed has been ranked 16th of the 46 countries examined on the continent, with Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia having the fastest mobile download speeds in Africa.

Crowdsourcing firm, SpeedChecker, in its Africa’s Mobile Network Champions report for 2021, released at the weekend, ranked countries and mobile operators in two categories: fastest mobile network champion and best mobile coverage champion.

The firm explained that data used for the survey was collected between January 2021 and January 2022 from end user devices running Android and iOS systems. SpeedChecker took over 704 million coverage samples and over 3.4 million speed test samples across Africa.

While Nigeria ranked 16th at 11.55Mbit/s, with Airtel emerging as the fastest network, Maroc Telecom in Morocco came out tops with an average country download speed of 23.57 Mbit/s. Second place went to MTN in South Africa with an average of 19.20 Mbit/s. The third place was Tunisian operator, Tunisie Telecom, at 18.19 Mbit/s.

The slowest country in 46th place was Central African Republic with an average country download speed of just 3.97 Mbit/s, followed by Mauritania at 4.23 Mbit/s and Libya at 4.28 Mbit/s on average.

According to SpeedChecker, Orange was the fastest operator in three of the top 10 countries: Mali (4th); Botswana (6th) and Liberia (9th) and was the fastest overall in eight countries out of the 46 measured. MTN was the fastest in four countries and Airtel was the fastest in three nations.

In terms of mobile coverage, Nigeria ranked 12th with MTN as leader. The report ranked the island nations of Mauritius, Comoros and Seychelles tops. The mobile network champions for coverage in these countries were Mauritius Telecom, Comores Telecom and Airtel in Seychelles. In fourth place for coverage were Vodafone in Egypt and Vodacom in South Africa.

MEANWHILE, Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has said the National Emergency Number, 112, which it instituted and superintends, is the most critical infrastructure necessary for successful implementation of the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance Systems (NEMSAS) launched recently by the Federal Ministry of Health.

NEMSAS was established as a programme implementation unit in the Office of the Minister of Health. The project aims to establish an Information and Communication Technology-enabled emergency medical service that is effective, efficient, timely and in partnership with private operators in the health sector.

In a statement, at the weekend, NCC explained that by integrating disparate Emergency Medical Services (EMS) resources available in Nigeria, the scheme would coordinate national rollout of EMS, enabling services to be provided through relationship with other entities and organisations.

The commission said NEMSAS will rely on many organisational partners to perform its EMS service delivery functions and the emergency number is going to drive the communication element of the project.

Speaking at the public signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the NEMSAS project between the Federal Ministry of Health, other relevant agencies and development partners, at the Shehu Umar Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the commission was delighted to provide the technology platform that will link NEMSAS partners with those who require emergency health services.

Danbatta, who was represented at the forum by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said: “As the national telecoms regulator, NCC is providing the communication ingredient for the initiative through its emergency number, thereby allowing those in health-related emergencies to be able to reach out to stakeholders that are involved in the NEMSAS project.

He added: “The NCC has been at the forefront of deploying ICT to drive the implementation of various government projects and initiatives. The number is at the heart of this initiative to provide a national number to Nigerians who are in need of health-related emergencies to be able to call Emergency Response Agencies (ERAs) or organisations in life-threatening situations.”

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