The best and worst mobile networks in South Africa

 ·6 Oct 2022

MyBroadband Insights has published its Q3 2022 Mobile Network Quality Report, detailing the best and worst mobile networks in South Africa right now.

The MyBroadband Network Quality Report is based on results from MyBroadband’s Speed Test App, which were recorded between 1 July 2022 and 30 September 2022.

The download speed (60%), upload speed (20%), and latency (20%) are used to calculate a Network Quality Score. The network score is a value which shows the relative performance of networks, with a maximum score of 10. To ensure accurate results, unnatural results are filtered out, and cell down-sampling is used.

The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 51.05 Mbps, up from 49.92Mbps recorded in the second quarter of the year.

The country has an average upload speed of 15.12Mbps, up from 14.84Mbps.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 83.97Mbps, followed by Vodacom at 52.22Mbps, Telkom at 30.10Mbps, Cell C at 28.21Mbps and Rain on 15.13Mbps.

MTN was found to have the best network nationally, as well in local tests – including in main centres like Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Durban, as well as in Bloemfontein and Gqeberha.

South Africa’s mobile sector is in the midst of a potential shake-up with MTN courting Telkom’s mobile operations – while Rain has made a proposal to be acquired by Telkom.

MTN advised its shareholders that it entered into discussions to acquire the entire issued share capital of Telkom in return for shares or a combination of cash and shares back in July.

This led to a flurry of interest in the state-owned telco, which saw an unsolicited informal bid come from Rain – which was subsequently withdrawn – as well as interest from investment firm Toto Consortium.

In September, Telkom issued a statement on the Stock Exchange News Service (SENS) notifying shareholders that it received a formal proposal from Rain for the Telkom Group to acquire the data network for newly issued shares in Telkom.

This prompted a response from MTN, which alluded to the tie-up between MTN and Telkom being in jeopardy over the bid.

The deal between MTN and Telkom would create the biggest South African mobile-phone operator by the number of subscribers, noted Bloomberg. The move faces antitrust hurdles as it would create an effective duopoly, a challenge Rain said would not be an issue under its plan.

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