Mobile analytics company Opensignal has compared 10 of Africa’s mobile
markets to see how they stack up against each other in mobile network
experience. As expected, South Africa wins in speed, but the top country in
network migration came as a surprise, as did the rankings of other
Opensignal provided the following analysis:
South Africa topped our Africa Download Speed Experience chart with a fairly impressive score of 15 Mbps, while Tunisia, Morocco and Kenya also managed average speeds of over 10 Mbps. South Africa’s score was quite a way behind the leading global scores, but the country still just managed to sneak into the top half of our global rankings. Indeed, in our most recent South Africa Mobile Network Experience report, we found two operators had Download Speed Experience scores over 17 Mbps. But the other two players scored around the 10 Mbps mark, pulling down the national average and showing a pattern we’ve observed of a “two tier” mobile network experience in the country.
Almost all the African countries we analyzed saw their Download Speed Experience scores increase over the past year, with only Algeria seeing its average speed dip slightly. Between the first three months of 2018 and the same period of 2019, Tunisia saw the biggest increase in terms of Mbps, as its score grew 3.6 Mbps to reach an average of 13.4 Mbps. But our users in Senegal experienced the greatest Download Speed Experience boost by percentage, as the average speed in the country jumped close to 50%.
Our 4G Availability analysis showed Kenya, Morocco and South Africa also featured in the top four — but the winner was something of a revelation. Senegal topped our Africa table with a score of 77.2% — beating some much more advanced markets in our global rankings. Senegal can be proud of a relatively advanced 4G mobile network experience, as Orange has already launched LTE-A in the country, while Tigo’s 4G network rollout is well underway.
Much like in our download speed analysis, only one African country saw its 4G Availability fall over the past year — Ghana saw its score drop nearly five percentage points to 61.2%. Our users in Senegal saw a big improvement in their chart-topping 4G Availability score, which increased over 15 points to reach 77.2% — but Egypt saw the greatest improvement of over 17 points in the past year to top 65%, while Algeria and Nigeria also saw their scores grow by over 10 points.
South Africa also topped our Video Experience table — one of two African nations which scored a Good rating (55-65 out of 100) in this metric. A Good Video Experience is characterized by video streamed from the internet to a phone or tablet rendering at both low and high resolutions, but exhibiting some loading time before playback begins and some stalling, especially at higher resolutions.
Tunisia also managed a Good rating, while three African countries — Egypt, Morocco and Kenya — scored in the Fair range (40-55). Our users in these countries should expect longer loading times and frequent stalling at higher resolutions, but a better Video Experience at low resolutions.
Half of the African countries we analyzed rated as Poor for Video Experience (0-40), characterized by frequent stalling during video playback and long loading times, even at low resolutions. Since 4G is still in its infancy in many African markets, a large proportion of the continent’s mobile networks are not yet suited to delivering a good mobile video experience.
But nonetheless, mobile coverage — and particularly data connectivity — are transforming the lives of billions of people on the continent. The majority of Africans have never experienced fixed-line broadband, meaning mobile is opening up services such as mobile banking and payments, social media and even instant messaging that many of us have taken for granted for decades. And as 4G connectivity improves and 5G comes to the continent, more and more people will see their lives transformed by their mobile network experience.
Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?
It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK
One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.
Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.
When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.
That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.
In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.
The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.
Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.
“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.
“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”
Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.
In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.
* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee
Robots coming to IFA
Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.
The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.
The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:
Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.
Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.
Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.
Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.
Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.
And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.
IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit www.ifa-berlin.com