MyBroadband’s latest Mobile Network Quality Report showed that MTN has the best network in South Africa, but this did not stop Vodacom from claiming to have the “best network in SA”.
Vodacom’s marketing material contains a wide range of network claims, including “SA’s Best Network” and “SA’s fastest 4G network”.
For many years Vodacom relied on network performance measurements from MyBroadband and Ookla for its “best network” claims.
On many occasions Vodacom also defended its “best network” claims using speed test results from MyBroadband and Ookla.
This changed, however, after both MyBroadband and Ookla’s results showed that MTN has the best network in South Africa.
Vodacom was not about to stop saying it has the best network, though, and started to use survey results from the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for its claim.
Instead of real-world network tests, the SAcsi results are based on “quality perceptions of technology components, products, services, and operations of the mobile networks”.
New “best network” definition from Vodacom
Vodacom has now changed its “best network” definition to ensure its lagging network performance does not affect it.
The company told MyBroadband that its latest best network claims are based on a “combination of factors including speed scores, coverage, customer satisfaction, and brand recognition”.
Vodacom said it holds a clear lead over competitors in customer satisfaction, coverage, and brand recognition.
The company said its claims to have the “Best 4G network” are also based on these factors.
It is not clear whether Vodacom’s claim to have “SA’s fastest 4G network” is also based on factors like customer satisfaction and brand recognition.
Best network claim and speed
In response to questions about the company changing its “best network” metrics, Vodacom said the “best network” claim cannot simply be limited to a single factor such as speed.
This is strange, considering Vodacom used speed – and speed alone – for many years to claim to have the best network.
On multiple occasions Vodacom used speed test data from MyBroadband and Ookla in Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) complaints to show that it has the “best network”.
Vodacom told MyBroadband that it now focuses on the “total customer experience – great performance, widest range, choice and above all, service excellence”.
“As indicated above, Vodacom relies upon various different industry sources to assess its fulfilment of these criteria,” the company said.
Vodacom “Best Network” marketing material
The images below show Vodacom’s latest marketing campaigns regarding its network.