Gautrain speed shootout

The Gautrain is one of the most popular public transport services among middle-class citizens in Gauteng, with 62,000 train journeys a day.

People can travel to numerous stations between Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo Airport along the Gautrain’s 80-kilometre commuter rail system.

Most people use their smartphones on the trip to browse the Internet, read emails, make calls, or check their latest WhatsApp messages.

To remain connected, is a challenge however, as the train travels at up to 160km/h on a route with numerous tunnels and stations.

This raises an important question: which mobile operator in South Africa offers the best performance along the Gautrain route?

Gautrain mobile network tests

To test the performance of mobile networks, MyBroadband conducted hundreds of download, upload, and latency tests along the Gautrain route.

The tests were conducted using two test benches with five high-end smartphones each, which include Huawei Mate 20 Pro devices (shown below).

These phones ran a custom version of the MyBroadband Android Speed Test app, which conducted network performance tests every minute.

The full route – from the Hatfield station to the Johannesburg station – were done twice to ensure accurate results.

The results

The mobile network test results showed that the performance for Vodacom and MTN were very good along most of the Gautrain route.

There were, however, a few areas where both Vodacom and MTN devices lost connectivity.

Cell C, Telkom, and Rain had only patchy coverage along the Gautrain route and regularly lost connectivity.

Vodacom had the highest average upload and download speeds, while Telkom recorded the lowest latency.

The table below provides an overview of the performance of the networks along the Gautrain route.

Gautrain Average Performance
Operator Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Latency (ms)
Vodacom 62Mbps 17Mbps 29ms
MTN 61Mbps 17Mbps 22ms
Telkom 26Mbps 4Mbps 28ms
Cell C 21Mbps 7Mbps 32ms
Rain 16Mbps 4Mbps 23ms
Gautrain Peak Speeds
Operator Download (Mbps) Upload (Mbps) Latency (ms)
Vodacom 163Mbps 31Mbps 26ms
MTN 156Mbps 15Mbps 20ms
Rain 89Mbps 28Mbps 36ms
Cell C 80Mbps 9Mbps 25ms
Telkom 68Mbps 9Mbps 15ms

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Gautrain speed shootout