MyBroadband recently tested the mobile network quality in the Eastern Cape as part of its countrywide mobile network testing project.
Coverage and data throughput tests are conducted using the MyBroadband Speed Test App, running on Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphones — the world’s first phone to support Cat. 21 LTE connections.
A SIM from Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Rain was installed in each of our test devices, and performance tests were conducted at regular intervals while driving.
MyBroadband’s speed test servers are hosted in Teraco’s vendor-neutral data centres to ensure an impartial testing environment.
Mobile Network Quality Score
One of our test routes was along the R72 between East London and Port Elizabeth. Thousands of speed tests were conducted along the route, and in the cities themselves.
Averages for the download speed, upload speed, and latency measured for each network is calculated for the area, then combined into a Network Quality Score out of 10.
Each of the these three averages are normalised, then weighted according to importance. The weights for each of these key network performance indicators were derived from the results of a MyBroadband survey. The survey asked IT professionals how they rate the importance of download speed, upload speed, and latency when choosing a mobile data connection.
Understanding the maps below: Each of the red dots indicate a test in that area. Larger red dots indicate multiple tests in the area.
Rain is killing it in Port Alfred
While Rain has a small coverage footprint compared to the other five mobile network operators in Port Alfred, it offers the best connectivity in town where it is available.
Telkom and Rain were in a close race in terms of average download speeds — 27Mbps vs. 27.4Mbps, but Rain pulled ahead by posting the higher average upload speed of 7.2Mbps and best average latency of 37ms.
MTN and Vodacom had better upload speeds on average — 9.4Mbps and 8.5Mbps, respectively — but also had worse latency and download speeds than the two frontrunners.
Port Elizabeth Mobile Network Quality
MTN was the clear leader in Port Elizabeth, achieving download speeds of 25.3Mbps, upload speeds of 13.1Mbps, and latencies of 36ms.
The only reason it did not achieve a perfect score is due to Rain posting the best average latency of 31ms.
Vodacom had an average download speed of 22.3Mbps and upload speeds of 7.5Mbps. Telkom was close, with download speeds of 20.5Mbps and upload speeds of 7.4Mbps.
Where we stayed
Thanks to our project partner Afristay, we stayed in total luxury while testing the cellular networks in Port Elizabeth.
Admiralty is five-star value at a four-star price — fantastic service, luxurious rooms, and excellent breakfast in the morning. If you are staying over the weekend, you will get to meet the owners on Saturday or Sunday morning.
The guest house is well-located, with a short walk to the beach and a bit of a longer walk or Uber ride to the renowned Something Good Roadhouse.
Article title image by Ngrund