Vodacom and MTN achieved peak speeds of over 500Mbps and average speeds of over 400Mbps in MyBroadband Insights’ recent 5G network tests in Gauteng.
Vodacom launched its 5G mobile network in May 2020 in three cities — Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town.
Vodacom’s 5G network supports both mobile and fixed-wireless services and uses spectrum in the 3.5GHz band.
One month later, MTN launched its 5G network in four cities — Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, and Port Elizabeth.
MTN uses multiple spectrum bands for its 5G network, including 3.5GHz, 2,100MHz, 1,800MHz and 700MHz, and 28GHz.
Vodacom and MTN have expanded their 5G networks since the launch, and it was time to see how these networks performed now.
To test the 5G mobile speeds, MyBroadband used MTN and Vodacom’s coverage maps to choose areas in Gauteng where they had good coverage.
We then searched for cellphone towers in these coverage areas, which were 5G enabled. In short, we drove up and down streets in the coverage areas while monitoring signal strength on two Samsung S21 5G devices with 5G enabled SIM cards.
Once a 5G tower was identified, we did three tests in close proximity and with a clear line of sight of the tower. The average download speed of these tests was used as a result for the tower.
The performance of Vodacom and MTN’s 5G networks were impressive.
Vodacom recorded a peak speed of 553Mbps, and an average speed of 463Mbps across the towers tested.
MTN recorded a peak speed of 544Mbps and an average speed of 440Mbps across its towers.
MyBroadband’s researcher highlighted that while Vodacom had higher speeds, MTN had better coverage.
“Vodacom had higher speeds in good conditions, but you are more likely to get good conditions with MTN,” he said.
The table below provides an overview of Vodacom and MTN’s 5G speeds in Gauteng.
|5G Speed Testing|
|Operator||Maximum Speed||Average Speed over top 5 towers|