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Vodacom takes top spot for video and consistency in latest mobile report

  • Opensignal has released its latest Mobile Network Experience Report for South Africa.
  • The report looks at SA’s four major networks and grades their performance on video, voice, coverage, 5G, and consistency.
  • Vodacom placed first in two of the categories and shared honours with MTN in a few others.

A regular fixture on South Africa’s telecommunications landscape, independent analytics firm Opensignal has released its latest Mobile Network Experience Report.

The mobile report looks at local data and performance across SA’s four major networks – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom – grading each in a number of categories including video, voice, coverage, consistency, and 5G.

The mobile report also looked at data between 1st May and 29th July this year in order to come up with its findings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was not much change from last year, with Vodacom and MTN duking it out for top spot across most categories, with each network crowned winner in three and five categories respectively.

The former did, however, win in one of the more important categories – consistency.

“Vodacom wins the Consistent Quality award with a score of 60.3%. MTN comes second, 5.7 percentage points behind the winner, while Cell C takes the 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. It assesses a number of experience indicators such as download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, and time to first byte,” Opensignal’s analysis explained.

Big Red also won when it came to video experience in the mobile report, having shared the top spot with MTN last year.

“Vodacom claims the award outright, with a score of 58 points on a 100-point scale, and is the only operator in the country to rate as Good (58-68), while other operators place in the Fair (48-58) category. A Good rating means our Vodacom users are, on average, able to stream video at 720p or better with satisfactory loading times and little stalling,” added Opensignal.

As for the embattled Cell C, which has made several new appointments to its C-Suite in a bid to become competitive again, it did not claim a top spot outright, but did share winner positions across a number of categories.

“This is the first time that Cell C wins awards in the Opensignal reports. The operator shares the winners’ podium for Live Video Experience, Games Experience, and Voice App Experience — matching the performance of its competitors,” the report highlighted.

It is not mentioned, however, how much of a factor leveraging the MTN network has had on the recent upturn in performance.

The last element worth mentioning is 5G. Here Vodacom and MTN shared honours across 5G video, 5G live video, and 5G voice. MTN though, was rated best in best of 5G gaming and upload speeds, but crucially Vodacom ranked best in terms of download speeds.

“Vodacom wins 5G Download Speed outright for the second time in the row, with a score of 215.8Mbps — and retains an impressive lead over MTN, beating it by 50.7Mbps. Both operators see no statistically significant changes in their scores compared to our previous report. MTN remains 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,” Opensignal concluded.

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