Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Vodacom has the fastest 5G network in South Africa – Opensignal

Article Image

Vodacom has the fastest 5G download speed in South Africa, topping the 200 Mbit/s mark, according to a new Mobile Network Experience Report from mobile analytics company Opensignal.

The report – which collected data between November 1, 2022, and January 29, 2023 – found that Vodacom's users recorded average 5G download speeds of 212.2 Mbit/s, 45.8% faster than a year ago.

In the previous year's South Africa report, MTN and Vodacom jointly won the 5G download speed category. But in 2022, Vodacom commanded a lead of nearly 30% over its competitor.

Source: Opensignal Limited
Source: Opensignal Limited

"Vodacom pulls ahead of MTN which saw no statistically significant change in its score compared to our last report," the report's author and Opensignal Senior Analyst Robert Wyrzykowski said.

MTN was still the fastest when it came to 5G upload speed, although Vodacom halved the gap between the operators for this metric from 6.6 Mbit/s to 3.3 Mbit/s.

Source: Opensignal Limited
Source: Opensignal Limited

Vodacom South Africa launched 5G services back in May 2020, and MTN followed with its 5G launch in June 2020. Telkom SA only launched its 5G network in October 2022.

According to Opensignal, Vodacom was also first in 5G video experience with a score of 77.8 points – beating MTN by 1.9 points. Both operators rate as Very Good (68-78), which means users are, on average, able to stream video at 1080p or better with satisfactory loading times and little stalling.

However, MTN and Vodacom were joint best for overall video experience, with scores of 47.2-49 points.

Speed superiority

MTN retained the top spot for fastest overall speeds in South Africa.

MTN had the fastest average overall download speed at 29 Mbit/s, which was 15.4% faster than Vodacom's result of 25.1 Mbit/s. Cell C and Telkom lag behind, with scores of 13.1 Mbit/s and 11.8 Mbit/s, respectively.

Source: Opensignal Limited
Source: Opensignal Limited

MTN was also best when it came to upload speed experience, with a score of 6.4 Mbit/s, a lead of 0.9 Mbit/s over Vodacom.

Telkom remained the leader for availability – with Telkom users connecting to 3G or better services 97.9% of the time – the best result in South Africa. This is around 2.8% higher than on MTN and Vodacom's network, which are in a statistical tie for second place.

Source: Opensignal Limited
Source: Opensignal Limited

Meanwhile, MTN defends the other availability award – 5G availability – with a score of 8.7%, while Vodacom wins 4G coverage experience outright with a score of 7.3 points on a 10-point scale.

Vodacom keeps consistency

Vodacom won both consistency categories for the second time in a row in Opensignal's reports. It scored 64.5% for excellent consistent quality (HD video, group video conference calls and gaming) and 77.5% for core consistent quality (lower performance applications including SD video, voice calls and web browsing).

Source: Opensignal Limited
Source: Opensignal Limited

Statistics from market research company Omdia show that Vodacom is SA's biggest network with around 51.8 million mobile users at the end of 2022. MTN was the second biggest with almost 36.5 million users. Telkom SA was in third place with over 18.5 million users and Cell C was the smallest operator with around 13 million mobile subscribers.

Source: Opensignal Limited
Source: Opensignal Limited

Opensignal's Algeria country report, published earlier this month, showed that Ooredoo Algeria had the fastest download and upload speeds in that country.

Overall, North Africa's operators also recorded a strong improvement in user experience during 2022, according to a separate Opensignal Global Mobile Network Experience report published in February.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by on Freepik.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


MTN tackles SA power woes with wind & solar hybrid project

MTN South Africa has launched an integrated wind and solar renewable energy generation project as part of its Net Zero efforts.


Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up