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Mobile networks in South Africa ranked from best to worst

Young woman using mobile phone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

South Africa's networks are in a constant battle to prove who has the best connectivity, access and prices. MTN and Vodacom are constantly jostling for the top spot, while others like Cell C and Rain have fallen short in recent months. 

MyBroadband Insights tested out all the major mobile networks to find out which really held out best. 

Based on 334,257 speed tests which were performed by thousands of MyBroadband Speed Test App users across South Africa, the Q3 020 report sees networks holding their positions. 

Overall, the average network speed in the country improved despite an increase in traffic, as an increase in temporary spectrum which was issued to mobile operators during the lockdown helped them close this gap. 

This temporary spectrum has helped mobile networks to increase their network capacity and improve their average speeds during the lockdown.

The only network which was not granted this was Rain. 

The best and the worst download speeds

MTN came out on top as the best mobile network in South Africa with an average mobile download speed of 55.11Mbps.

Vodacom came in second at 29.80Mbps, Telkom on 23.60Mbps, Cell C on 17.82Mbps and finally Rain on 10.02Mbps.

Best overall

To look at the entire network, the report considered a “Network Quality Score” that was calculated using download speed, upload speed, and latency.

This is represented as a number out of 10 with higher numbers representing a better score. 

Much like the download speeds, the quality score carried through the same. MTN reigned supreme with a Network Quality Score of 9.68, followed by Vodacom on 5.99, Telkom on 5.16, Cell C on 4.27, and Rain on 3.74.

Leila Stein

Leila Stein is an experienced multimedia journalist and content producer with a special interest in data journalism. she is skilled in news writing, editing, online writing and multimedia content production and have a Bachelor of Journalism  from Rhodes University and an Honours in Historical Studies from University of Cape Town.