Opensignal says MTN is still the speed king in South Africa

Vodacom and MTN are in a race to deliver the best mobile network experience in South Africa, according to the findings of a new report.

Opensignal’s Mobile Network Experience Report, which the researcher said provides an understanding of the “true experience consumers receive on wireless networks”, found MTN was the winner in five categories it measured, followed by Vodacom with three and Telkom with one. Cell C was declared joint winner in three categories for the first time.

The company analysed the mobile network experience of South African users of its app on Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom over a 90-day period starting on 1 May and ending on 29 July.

Vodacom won the “consistent quality” category with a score of 60.3%. MTN placed second, 5.7 percentage points behind, while Cell C took third spot, with a score of 43.2%

“This metric measures if the network is sufficient to support common mobile application requirements at a level that is ‘good enough’ for users to maintain (or complete) various typical demanding tasks on their devices,” Opensignal explained in a statement. “It assesses a number of experience indicators such as download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss and ‘time to first byte’.”

OpenSignal report highlights

Other highlights of the research findings include:

  • Vodacom won the 5G download speed category with a score of 215.8Mbit/s (beating MTN by 50.7Mbit/s, but MTN kept its 5G upload speed title with a score of 21.7Mbit/s for a winning margin over Vodacom of 2.2Mbit/s (down from 3.3Mbit/s in a previous report);
  • Both operators saw no statistically significant changes in their scores compared to Opensignal’s previous report. MTN remained the sole winner of the 5G upload speed award with a score of 21.7Mbps and a winning margin of 2.2Mbps over Vodacom — down from 3.3Mbps seen in the previous report.
  • MTN users continued to see the fastest overall speeds in South Africa. MTN retained both overall speed awards in South Africa. The operator reached the 40Mbit/s average mark for the first time after a big boost in its download speeds of 11.3Mbit/s. As a result, it widened its lead over second-placed Vodacom from 3.9Mbit/s to 9.4Mbit/s.
  • Telkom won the award for network availability. “Our Telkom users connect to 3G or better services 98.2% of the time. This is around 1.8 percentage points ahead of Cell C, MTN and Vodacom, which all tie for second place with scores of 96.3% to 96.7%.”
  • The latest report is the first time that Cell C has won awards from Opensignal. The operator shared the winners’ podium for “live video experience”, “games experience” and “voice app experience” — matching the performance of its competitors.
Source: OpenSignal

For the first time, Opensignal’s latest report includes “live video experience” and “5G live video experience” metrics, which quantify the overall and 5G experience of users watching live events.

“We also include ‘consistent quality’, which replaces the ‘excellent consistent quality’ and ‘core consistent quality’ awards that featured in previous reports.”  — © 2023 NewsCentral Media

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