MTN 5G tested – Blisteringly fast speeds

MTN launched its 5G network in South Africa on 30 June with 100 sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, and Port Elizabeth.

This 5G launch, MTN SA CTIO Giovanni Chiarelli said, was made possible, in part, by the recent allocation of temporary spectrum by ICASA.

MTN delivers 5G connectivity using four spectrum bands – 3.5 GHz (58 sites), 2,100MHz and 1,800MHz (35 sites), 700MHz (5 sites), and 28GHz (3 sites).

The operator is also re-farming some of its 4G spectrum to allow it to run 4G and 5G spectrum, at the same time, in the same band.

While MTN’s 5G network is currently only available in a handful of suburbs, the company is planning to significantly expand its coverage in future.

MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa said their 5G network rollout will be ramped up to more sites once government allocates permanent spectrum through the planned auction later this year.

“Our call to the regulator and government is to release permanent 4G and 5G spectrum as a matter of urgency, so that we can fuel the digital revolution,” said Motsa.

MTN 5G tested, with impressive results

MTN’s service is offered in two variants – 5G home Wi-Fi and 5G mobile.

MTN said its 5G home Wi-Fi offers average speeds of 100Mbps and peak speeds of 500Mbps, while 5G mobile offers average speeds of 50Mbps and peak speeds of 500Mbps.

To test this claim, MyBroadband did drive tests in 5G coverage areas using a Huawei P40 Pro, which features the Huawei Kirin 990 5G chipset.

MyBroadband also tried to test the network using LG V50 5G devices, but these phones would not connect to the MTN 5G network.

This was not unexpected, as MTN is not advertising the LG V50 as a compatible device and is offering the more feature-rich LG Velvet instead.

We tested the download speed, upload speed, and latency in multiple locations in Johannesburg using the MyBroadband speed test app.

MyBroadband’s speed test servers are hosted at NAPAfrica in Teraco’s vendor-neutral data centres to ensure a neutral testing environment.

The results were exceptional. The average download speed was above 500Mbps while the average upload speed was 84Mbps. The average latency was 15ms.

Download speeds peaked at well above 700Mbps and upload speeds peaked at over 100Mbps.

Even when driving at 110km/h on the N1 highway, MyBroadband achieved download speeds of 431Mbps.

The tables below provide an overview of the performance of MTN’s 5G service in Gauteng in areas with good coverage and signal strength.

MTN 5G Network Performance
Component Performance
Average Download Speed 503Mbps
Maximum Download Speed 752Mbps
Minimum Download Speed 233Mbps
Average Upload Speed 84Mbps
Maximum Upload Speed 107Mbps
Minimum Upload Speed 30Mbps
Average Latency 15ms
Lowest Latency 12ms
Highest Latency 20ms

Epson Downs Shopping Centre

Epsom Downs Shopping Centre
Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
745.411 100.268 16
733.655 101.737 15
722.487 99.114 15
660.540 100.025 15
658.541 100.929 14
613.551 100.860 15
545.677 76.137 14
536.001 96.331 14
511.928 106.606 13
507.039 78.301 15
494.263 82.709 15
477.483 77.737 16
468.510 89.649 14
436.377 95.278 15
394.195 85.243 16
232.820 101.063 13


Nando’s Bryanston

Nando’s Bryanston
Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
549.175 99.058 15
548.196 99.538 15
510.852 63.050 13
505.547 100.455 14
468.507 100.681 15
466.020 97.070 12
451.199 100.004 15
443.349 98.794 16
419.388 80.913 16
380.837 93.037 15
379.155 83.984 15


Design Quarter

Design Quarter
Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
726.638 88.793 15
691.043 81.256 15
681.484 94.407 15
670.419 95.236 14
617.792 92.646 14
604.201 66.560 16
584.556 92.486 15
561.271 56.361 15
535.525 65.852 15
468.743 77.908 16
356.432 77.934 18
310.368 36.451 19
269.582 62.395 17


The Palazzo Montecasino

The Palazzo Montecasino
Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
618.704 104.830 15
595.925 92.666 16
583.649 64.822 18
570.778 98.707 15
549.234 104.806 16
518.828 103.099 14
512.891 100.257 12
498.188 97.289 16
474.200 67.069 16
446.369 85.375 15
402.167 38.003 20


William Nicol Drive

William Nicol Drive
Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
751.588 100.357 15
729.140 98.091 15
712.001 100.929 14
641.528 100.860 15
588.624 92.162 15
528.262 102.273 14
480.604 63.952 15
469.628 102.883 14
463.300 99.197 17
459.413 58.443 16
419.906 99.616 15
411.028 33.933 20
361.274 37.137 16
352.960 75.233 15
309.735 36.372 15


MTN Head Office

MTN Head Office
Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
572.649 99.860 19
565.044 97.580 17
563.028 99.463 15
553.233 97.150 19
542.731 93.821 16
458.154 95.626 14
366.937 33.387 15
362.700 96.158 19
347.488 67.938 16
280.692 56.675 15
272.136 42.527 14
253.096 56.990 16
245.122 29.858 17


Now read: MTN’s 5G network – All the details

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MTN 5G tested – Blisteringly fast speeds