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.

4G/5G

MTN was South Africa's best network in 2020 – report

Article Image
MTN has been ranked as South Africa's best network for 2020 for speed and network quality, according to the MyBroadband Insights 2020 Mobile Network Quality Report.

The report was based on 1.2 million speed tests which were performed by over 41,000 MyBroadband Speed Test App users across South Africa between January 1 and December 31, 2020.

The results show that MTN had the best network in the country and also performed best in the cities of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

The research showed that South Africa had an average download speed of 29.33 Mbit/s and an average upload speed of 11.24 Mbit/s last year, while average latency in SA was 35ms.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 52.84 Mbit/s, followed by Vodacom (29.39 Mbit/s), Telkom (21.58 Mbit/s), Cell C (17.46 Mbit/s) and data-only network Rain trailing at 11.90 Mbit/s.

During 2020 the average network speed of South Africa's mobile operators increased significantly despite higher data usage.

One of the reasons outlined in the report was the temporary spectrum which was issued to Vodacom, MTN, Telkom and Rain by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) during SA's lockdown.

"The additional spectrum helped operators to increase their network capacity and improve their average network performance."

Vodacom and MTN both launched 5G networks during the lockdown using the temporary spectrum, while Rain began rolling out 5G services in 2019.

(See MTN 5G goes live in South Africa, Vodacom launches 5G in South Africa, and Rain Boasts 5G Network Launch in South Africa.)

When it came to upload speeds MTN also was ranked at fastest in 2020 at 19.92 Mbit/s; followed by Vodacom (10.43 Mbit/s); Rain (9.93 Mbit/s); Cell C (7.91 Mbit/s) with Telkom in last place (5.85 Mbit/s).

Rainy days

Rain quadrupled its signups after South Africa's lockdown kicked in, but its increased popularity was not necessarily a good thing as the network struggled to cope with higher demand for data.

It ended up ranking as the worst network in 2020, and the report shows that the average download speed on Rain's network declined from 15.20 Mbit/s in the first quarter of the year to 11.41 Mbit/s in the fourth quarter.

"This significant decline was a result of network congestion in areas where Rain oversubscribed its service. The situation was aggravated by the fact that Rain offers uncapped products and that many people stuck at home started to use streaming services like Netflix to stay entertained," MyBroadband Insights explained in a statement.

Network quality

The report determines the best mobile network using a "Network Quality Score" which takes into account download speed (60%), upload speed (20%) and latency (20%). The network score out of 10 then shows how each network performed in relation to others.

MTN continued to hold the top spot it had during lockdown with a Network Quality Score of 9.86 during 2020, followed by Vodacom (6.17), Telkom (4.87), and both Cell C and Rain (4.35).

*Top image is of a speed test during MTN's 5G launch in SA in 2020 (Source: MTN). Graphics Source: MyBroadband Insights 2020 Mobile Network Quality Report.

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

Story

SA startup Sendoff is digitizing funerals

South African startup Sendoff is a full-service funeral app that is digitizing the way funerals are organized.

More Innovation hub

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

Story

Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up