Vodacom and MTN’s 5G performance and coverage compared

Drive tests by MyBroadband Insights revealed that MTN’s 5G network offers better coverage and higher speeds in Gauteng than its main competitor, Vodacom.

MyBroadband Insights used four test benches with high-end 5G smartphones for these drive tests.

The phones used in the test benches were — Samsung Galaxy S22 5G, Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Oppo Reno 5 5G, and Huawei P40 Lite 5G.

Each phone ran a custom version of the MyBroadband Speedtest app. The app tested the download speed, upload speed, latency, and connection type in one-minute intervals.

As these test benches create identical environments for all the devices on all mobile networks, it provides valuable data for comparison between networks and devices.

The drive tests covered Pretoria East — from Villeria to Garsfontein and large parts of Johannesburg, including Randburg and Sandton.

For this article, we compared the results for Vodacom and MTN for all four phones.

The data revealed that MTN is still leading Vodacom by a healthy margin when it comes to 5G networks.

Out of around 1,000 tests for each network, 54% of the MTN tests were done on their 5G network, indicating significant 5G coverage of the areas tested.

Vodacom, in turn, only had 36% of tests on 5G. This means Vodacom still has a fair way to go to achieve 50% 5G coverage in Gauteng.

MTN also reigned supreme when it came to 5G performance.

MTN’s network had an average 5G download speed of 246 Mbps, significantly higher than Vodacom’s 144 Mbps.

The average upload speed on MTN 5G was 50 Mbps, nearly double the 27 Mbps on Vodacom. MTN also had lower latency.

5G Comparison — Vodacom vs MTN

The table below provides an overview of Vodacom and MTN’s 5G performance in Gauteng.

MTN vs Vodacom
Vodacom MTN
Percentage of tests on 5G 36% 54%
Average 5G Download Speed 144 Mbps 246 Mbps
Average 5G Upload Speed 27 Mbps 50 Mbps
Average 5G Latency 29 ms 25 ms

Now read: Prepaid data prices — Vodacom vs MTN

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Vodacom and MTN’s 5G performance and coverage compared