Best and worst mobile networks in South Africa

MyBroadband Insights has published its Q3 2021 Mobile Network Quality Report, showing that MTN has the best mobile network in South Africa.

The report is based on in excess of 300,000-speed tests performed by thousands of MyBroadband Speed Test App users across the country between 1 July and 30 September 2021.

The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 40.40Mbps and an average upload speed of 13.66Mbps.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 68.79Mbps, followed by Vodacom at 39.37Mbps, Telkom at 29.24Mbps, Cell C at 19.88Mbps and Rain at 10.86Mbps.

“MTN’s exceptional performance results from outspending its rivals on infrastructure investment over the past five years. MTN’s R50 billion network investment helped it extend coverage, improve network quality, and increase speeds,” MyBroadband Insights said.

The average download speed in South Africa has increased by more than 10Mbps since the beginning of 2020, which MyBroadband Insights attributes to increased network investment and temporary spectrum issued to mobile operators during Covid-19 lockdown.

“This temporary spectrum helped mobile networks to increase their network capacity and improve their average speeds during the lockdown,” it said.

With the temporary spectrum being pulled by the industry regulator, Icasa, the future of these speeds and network quality are now uncertain.

Best mobile network in South Africa

To determine the best mobile network, MyBroadband calculated a “Network Quality Score” 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 its peers.

MTN topped the index with a Network Quality Score of 9.58, followed by Vodacom on 6.25, Telkom on 5.18, Cell C on 4.09, and Rain on 3.42.

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


Read: South Africa has a new favourite mobile service provider – which could change the game for MTN and Vodacom

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Best and worst mobile networks in South Africa