MTN loses, again

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has dismissed another complaint from MTN against Vodacom’s “South Africa’s Best Network” claim.

Vodacom based its claim on MyBroadband’s speed test data, which shows the operator outperformed MTN, Cell C, and Telkom on average download speeds.

MTN’s complaint argued that Ookla’s speed test data shows its mobile speeds are on par with Vodacom, negating Vodacom’s network superiority claim.

MTN added that Vodacom should not be allowed to use MyBroadband’s speed test results to substantiate its claim.

“Vodacom’s claims should be supported by Ookla data, rather than MyBroadband data, failing which, the claim would not only be unsubstantiated, but misleading,” said MTN.

The statement from MTN that Vodacom should not use MyBroadband data is strange, as MTN has used MyBroadband’s speed test data in its advertisements.

Vodacom hit back, showing that MyBroadband and Ookla use similar testing methodologies, run their software on the same smartphones, and collect the same network performance metrics.

“MyBroadband’s statistics are valid and representative, and its sample size and level of statistical significance justify the conclusions reached,” said Vodacom.

Third-party report from Catalyst

A third-party report by Catalyst Research & Strategy, a SAMRA-accredited entity, showed that MyBroadband’s speed test results were accurate and in line with industry standards.

The Catalyst Research & Strategy report stated:

  • Statistically speaking, the Ookla and MyBroadband speed test data samples are extremely large and the statistical significance at the 95% confidence level is marginal at 0.4 and 0.3 respectively.
  • The larger sample that Ookla has over MyBroadband does not give a meaningful edge over MyBroadband in terms of the margin of error, which means both samples are representative.
  • We can safely assume the methodologies employed by Ookla and MyBroadband are almost identical.

ASA ruling

The ASA dismissed MTN’s argument that MyBroadband’s data should not be used to make mobile network claims.

The ASA said Vodacom’s “SA’s Best Network” claim is therefore justified when using MyBroadband’s speed test results.

“In light of this, Vodacom’s advertising is neither misleading, nor exploitative of the credulity of consumers,” said the ASA.

The ASA dismissed MTN’s complaint.

Now read: Best LTE network in South Africa

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MTN loses, again