MTN network investment shows in South African quality rankings

MTN’s increased investment in its South African network has helped it to outperform its rivals, including Vodacom, in network performance.

MTN CEO Ralph Mupita recently said they deployed R41.1 billion of capital expenditure (Capex), excluding leases, to support their Ambition 2025 strategy.

Over the last year, MTN invested R10 billion in its network, 15% higher than in 2022. The investment included upgrading infrastructure with advanced batteries and generators.

Mupita said the progress of MTN South Africa’s (MTN SA) network resilience plan was a key success in the year.

“MTN SA significantly improved network availability and supported commercial initiatives, despite ongoing load-shedding.”

By the close of 2023, MTN SA had achieved network availability of approximately 95% ahead of schedule.

MTN SA’s cohort of sites where resilience investment had been completed achieved an availability of approximately 98%.

The network improvement was confirmed by MyBroadband Insights’ Q1 2024 Mobile Network Quality Report.

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.

The report showed MTN had the highest average download speed at 82.48 Mbps, followed by Vodacom at 77.45 Mbps, Cell C at 39.32 Mbps, Telkom at 30.49 Mbps, and Rain at 19.41 Mbps.

MTN achieved the best performance in Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekhurhuleni, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay. Vodacom reigned supreme in Gauteng. 

Best mobile network in South Africa

To determine the best mobile network in South Africa, a “Network Quality Score” was calculated 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 other networks.

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.

 Network Operator Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms) Network Quality Score
 MTN 82.48 24.03 29 9.66
 Vodacom 77.45 14.74 30 8.14
 Cell C 39.32 13.36 42 6.09
 Telkom 30.49 10.72 37 5.24
 Rain 19.41 10.31 28 4.75