The mobile network with the best coverage in South Africa

Mobile coverage, especially LTE coverage, is one of the most important factors for consumers when selecting a mobile service provider.

A recent MyBroadband survey revealed that coverage ranked as one of the most important aspects of a mobile data service, alongside download speed and reliability.

To see how the local operators’ coverage compares, MyBroadband asked the networks for their coverage figures.

MTN said it has about 75% LTE population coverage deployed in 1,800MHz and 2,100Mhz bands.

“We have had to refarm existing spectrum to deploy LTE, where in other markets additional spectrum has been provided,” said MTN.

“This means we need to balance customer experience for 2G, 3G and LTE using the limited spectrum available.”

Cell C said it has its own national network, and in outlying areas where it does not have sufficient coverage, it relies on its roaming agreement with Vodacom.

“The objective of Cell C’s network strategy is to offer customers a seamless service, regardless of where customers find themselves. As such, the company does not differentiate between Cell C coverage and Vodacom roaming coverage,” it said.

Rain Mobile CEO Willem Roos said it is rolling out its 4G network in the main metropolitan areas.

“We are close to having 2,000 operational towers, which would cover a significant portion of the population,” said Roos.

Network coverage

Operator Population Coverage
Operator Overall Data Coverage 3G Coverage 4G Coverage
Vodacom 99.9% 99.4% 77.6%
MTN 99.9% 97.0% 75.0%
Cell C (Including roaming) 99.6% 96.0% 32.0%
Telkom 56.0% 56.0% 40.7%
Rain 50.0% 50.0%

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The mobile network with the best coverage in South Africa