Huawei’s 5G network speeds are the best in South Africa

Huawei’s radio equipment provides the best download speeds on South Africa’s major 5G networks, Analytico research data has revealed.

Analytico’s research involves analysing average download and upload speeds that MyBroadband mobile speed test users achieved on 5G while connected to different mobile vendors’ tower-fitted equipment in 2022.

South Africa’s 5G networks have grown rapidly in recent years, and this growth will likely continue when the country’s mobile operators can use their newly acquired high-demand spectrum.

Ericsson, Nokia, and ZTE provide 5G radio networking equipment in South Africa, in addition to Huawei.

South Africa’s major 5G providers — Vodacom and MTN — use Huawei network equipment. However, MTN also uses equipment from Ericsson and ZTE, while Vodacom uses Nokia as an additional network partner.

It is not uncommon for mobile networks to use products from multiple network equipment manufacturers, with most networks worldwide using more than one.

According to a Heavy Reading white paper for Oracle Communications, multi-vendor 5G networks provide enhanced service innovation and improved network resiliency.

Global base station vendor market share from 2019 to 2022. Data: TrendForce

“Two to four 5G core suppliers — each providing clusters of related network functions — is the optimal number for a multi-vendor strategy,” the white paper reads.

“Very few vendors can provide an entire 5G core network, and those that can often have areas of weakness or can be subject to unforeseen failure.”

Vodacom and MTN’s choice of mobile vendors tends to align with their adoption around the globe.

According to data from TrendForce, Huawei has held the highest mobile base station market share worldwide since 2020.

Huawei’s market share ranged from 27.5% in 2019 to 29% in 2022, while Ericsson and Nokia’s share sits at 24% and 21.5%, respectively.

However, MTN’s use of ZTE mobile equipment bucks the trend, as the vendor has a relatively small global market share of 2.5%, dropping from 6.5% in 2019.

TrendForce notes that vendor market share figures for 2022 are estimates.

Huawei’s equipment provides the best 5G download speeds

Huawei leads South Africa’s 5G network performance in terms of download speeds.

Analytico’s research shows that the mobile vendor achieved the highest 5G download speeds on Vodacom and MTN’s networks, where both operators also used other manufacturers’ equipment.

Huawei achieved an average download speed of 212.79Mbps on MTN’s network, with the runner-up — Swedish radio equipment manufacturer Ericsson — reaching an average of 209.36Mbps on downloads.

Huawei’s Chinese counterpart ZTE achieved the lowest average download speed on MTN’s network at 194.82Mbps.

The story is slightly different regarding upload speeds and latency, with Huawei coming second in both aspects.

Ericsson achieved the highest upload speeds on the network with an average of 50.61Mbps, while ZTE had the lowest latency at 23.57 milliseconds.

Vodacom’s 5G network is slower than MTN’s in terms of average download and upload speeds. However, Huawei’s equipment performed best across both facets of the network.

On Vodacom’s network, the radio equipment vendor achieved an average download and upload speed of 153.66Mbps and 29.87Mbps, respectively.

Vodacom’s other equipment partner — Nokia — achieved an average download speed of 124.08Mbps and an average upload speed of 14.55Mbps.

It should be noted that the step-up in speeds that came with 5G technology is substantial.

Recent Analytico research showed a similar trend regarding the best mobile vendors in South Africa, with Huawei achieving the highest average download speed across four networks.

The highest 4G network speed achieved on Huawei’s equipment was 79.33Mbps. Its 5G equipment more than doubled the average download speed at 212.79Mbps.

The table below summarises the average download and upload speeds and latency recorded on the equipment of each 5G vendor.

Average performance of 5G network vendors in South Africa
Vendor Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Latency (milliseconds)
Huawei 5G (MTN) 212.79 45.52 27.56
Ericsson 5G (MTN) 209.36 50.61 31.71
ZTE 5G (MTN) 194.82 42.27 23.57
Huawei 5G (Vodacom) 153.66 29.87 28.16
Nokia 5G (Vodacom) 124.08 14.55 31.56

Now read: MTN beats Vodacom and Telkom as the preferred LTE and 5G provider

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Huawei’s 5G network speeds are the best in South Africa