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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


These are the best and worst mobile networks in South Africa

The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 66.82 Mbps and an average upload speed of 15.42 Mbps.


Mobile service provider MTN has the best mobile network in South Africa followed by Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom in fourth place.

This is according to the MyBroadband Insights Mobile Network Quality Report for the first quarter of 2024.

MyBroadband said the report is based on 285 839 speed tests performed by 7 197 mobile data users across South Africa between 1 January 2024 and 31 March 2024.

Best network

It said the testing included data from crowd-sourced users and dedicated drive tests, ensuring a “balanced and accurate” representation of real-world network performance.

“The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 66.82 Mbps and an average upload speed of 15.42 Mbps.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 82.48 Mbps, followed by Vodacom at 77.45 Mbps, Cell C at 39.32 Mbps, and Telkom at 30.49 Mbps,” it said.

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Worst performance

MyBroadband said Rain had the worst performance, with an average download speed of 19.41 Mbps.

“It was well below the national average and out of sync with the rest of the industry.”

While MTN reigned supreme in overall network quality, Vodacom emerged as the best 5G network provider.

MyBroadband said Vodacom focused a large part of its network investment on its 5G rollout, which helped it to top the 5G speed rankings.

“Despite Vodacom’s impressive 5G performance, MTN’s comprehensive network coverage and quality across LTE and 5G helped it to offer a superior overall service. MTN achieved the best performance in Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay. Vodacom reigned supreme in Johannesburg.”

MyBroadband added that Cell C significantly improved its network performance over the last year.

“Cell C’s average download speed increased from 28.70 Mbps in Q1 2023 to 39.32 Mbps in Q1 2024. This improvement helped Cell C to overtake Telkom and rank third behind MTN and Vodacom in network quality.”

Scoring

MyBroadband said to determine the best mobile network in South Africa, a “Network Quality Score” out of 10 was calculated for each network using download speed, upload speed, and latency.

“MTN reigned supreme with a Network Quality Score of 9.66, followed by Vodacom at 8.14, Cell C at 6.09, Telkom at 5.24, and Rain at 4.75.

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

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Cell C Mobile MTN rain Telkom Vodacom