Vodacom vs MTN – Mobile data networks in Kimberley

MyBroadband recently tested the mobile network quality in Kimberley as part of its countrywide mobile network testing project.

The MyBroadband mobile network testing project is conducted in partnership with Afristay and Huawei Mobile Devices and provides a comprehensive look at cellular network quality in South Africa.

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.

SIMs from Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Rain were installed in 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 N1 from Cape Town, then taking the N12 after Beaufort West to Kimberley and on to Potchefstroom. Thousands of speed tests were conducted along the route and in the towns themselves.

Averages are calculated for the download speed, upload speed, and latency measured in each area. These key network performance indicators are then combined into a Network Quality Score out of 10.

Each of the three averages is normalised and weighted according to importance. The weight for each performance indicator was 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.


Kimberley Mobile Network Quality

Kimberley was a tight race between Vodacom and MTN, with Cell C hot on their heels. Telkom actually had a higher average download speed than MTN, but only placed fourth due to its much slower upload speeds and higher average latency.

Vodacom had the highest average download speed of 27.8Mbps, which is slow when compared to the averages in South Africa’s major cities. Its had the highest upload speeds (15.5Mbps) and the second-best average latency (35ms).

Only Cell C had slightly better latency, achieving an average of 34ms.

As indicated in the mobile network quality score, MTN’s performance was very close to Vodacom’s, with download speeds of 26.2Mbps, upload speeds of 14.4Mbps, and an average latency of 40ms.

Kimberley scores for Q2 2019 mobile network quality tests


Where we stayed

Thanks to our project partner Afristay, we stayed in complete luxury while testing the cellular networks in Kimberley.

Oleander Guest House

Truly one of the best 5-star guest houses in South Africa, we could not pass up an opportunity to stay in Oleander when we passed through Kimberley.

You can immediately tell that the owner is involved in the day-to-day running of the guest house. It came as no surprise to learn that Oleander used to be their home.

Oleander’s people warm and exuberant, the service is excellent, and the rooms are spacious and well-equipped.

Its crowning jewel is the Laurier Blanc, the restaurant which operates out of Oleander’s dining room. Last time we were in Kimberley, it was the best burger joint in town. This time the chef laid out a menu with fancier fare, including delicious lamb chops seasoned and prepared in North African style.

Oleander Kimberley

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Vodacom vs MTN – Mobile data networks in Kimberley