Best mobile network in South Africa: MTN v Vodacom v Cell C v Telkom v Rain

MyBroadband Insights has released its Mobile Network Quality Report for Q2 which shows that MTN has the best mobile network in South Africa.

The report, received on Wednesday by The South African website, is based on 288 210 speed tests performed by 7 092 mobile data users across South Africa between 1 April and 30 June.

The testing included data from crowdsourced users and dedicated drive tests, ensuring a balanced and accurate representation of real-world network performance.

The research shows South Africa’s average mobile download speed was 70.41 Mbps, up from 62.27 Mbps a year ago.

The average upload speed was 15.94 Mbps, an increase from 14.88 Mbps over the same period in 2023.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 83.08 Mbps, followed by Vodacom at 79.70 Mbps, Cell C at 54.50 Mbps, and Telkom at 32.29 Mbps.

Rain had the worst performance, with an average download speed of 21.31 Mbps. It was well below the national average and out of sync with the rest of the industry.

Vodacom performed best in Johannesburg and Cape Town

MTN performed best in eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay, while Vodacom reigned supreme in Johannesburg, Mangaung, and Cape Town.

MTN’s strong network performance is expected. For the past decade, it has invested R10 billion annually in its network infrastructure.

The operator increased its capital expenditure in South Africa by 15% over the last year, which included upgrading infrastructure with advanced batteries and generators.

These upgrades helped MTN to ensure reliable mobile services amidst ongoing electricity problems in South Africa.

Although Vodacom ranked second in overall network performance behind MTN, it achieved the highest 5G speeds.

Vodacom is aggressively expanding its 5G network across South Africa, and the latest results showed the impact of its investment.

The latest report also highlights Cell C’s improvement. Its download speed improved from 38.63 Mbps in Q2 2023 to 54.50 Mbps in Q2 2024.

This improvement is closely linked to Cell C’s migration to MTN’s network and optimisation of its virtual network.

This migration and optimisation helped Cell C cement its position ahead of Telkom and Rain regarding network performance.

Best mobile network in South Africa

To determine the best mobile network in South Africa, a “Network Quality Score” was calculated for each network using download speed, upload speed, and latency.

The Network Quality Score out of 10 then shows how a network performed in relation to other networks.

MTN reigned supreme with a Network Quality Score of 9.87, followed by Vodacom at 8.85, Cell C at 6.83, Telkom at 4.91 and Rain at 4.48.

The table below provides an overview of the mobile network rankings in South Africa.

Network Operator Download Speed Upload Speed Latency Score
MTN 83.08 24.14 30 9.87
Vodacom 79.70 14.83 30 8.85
Cell C 54.50 16.65 37 6.83
Telkom 32.29 11.79 35 4.91
Rain 21.31 11.39 28 4.48

Which mobile network do you believe is best in South Africa?

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