The best mobile network in Johannesburg

MyBroadband’s mobile network drive tests in July 2019 in the City of Johannesburg revealed a close race between Vodacom and MTN for the best network in the municipality.

The tests were conducted using a specialised network testing vehicle and high-end smartphones which ran a custom version of MyBroadband’s Android speed test app.

The areas which were included in the City of Johannesburg tests were Midrand, Randburg and Sandton.

City of Johannesburg drive results

The table below compares the network performance of Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, Cell C and Rain in the City of Johannesburg.

For this comparison, a network quality score (NQS) was used, which provides a weighted aggregate of the mean download speeds, upload speeds, and latency for each operator.

The NQS gives a single measure of how the different cellular network operators perform relative to one another.

Aggregating all the data showed that Vodacom achieved the best overall performance with the highest download and upload speeds, and the lowest latency. Vodacom was followed closely by MTN in second place. Telkom had the third-best network performance throughout the drive tests, with improvements in download speed.

The results revealed that Vodacom had the highest average download speed at 54.9Mbps and MTN had the highest average upload speed at 22.9Mbps. Rain and Telkom had the lowest average latency of 23ms.

Operator Mean Latency (ms) Mean Download (Mbps) Mean Upload (Mbps) Network Quality Score
Vodacom 25 54.9 17.7 9.4
MTN 31 50.6 22.9 9.0
Telkom 23 40.5 4.9 6.9
Rain 23 23.8 7.3 5.2
Cell C 30 22.5 10.2 4.9

The map below shows the locations where tests were conducted.


Individual suburb results

The sections below show the results per area within the City of Johannesburg.


Midrand

Vodacom comfortably took first place in Midrand with an average download speed of 41.9Mbps. MTN achieved the highest average upload speed and Rain had the lowest latency.

Operator Mean Latency (ms) Mean Download (Mbps) Mean Upload (Mbps) Network Quality Score
Vodacom 24 41.9 16.9 9.6
MTN 33 27.8 18.5 7.3
Telkom 26 28.9 5.6 6.4
Rain 21 19.2 8.4 5.7
Cell C 29 19.0 11.0 5.4


Randburg

Vodacom achieved a very high average download speed of 65.8Mbps in Randburg and lost to MTN in upload speed by a very slight margin. Again, Rain had the lowest latency of 21ms.

Operator Mean Latency (ms) Mean Download (Mbps) Mean Upload (Mbps) Network Quality Score
Vodacom 24 65.8 19.1 9.7
MTN 32 54.3 20.1 8.3
Telkom 21 37.6 4.8 5.9
Rain 23 23.9 7.7 4.8
Cell C 33 23.5 9.7 4.4


Sandton

Vodacom had slightly faster download speeds than MTN in Sandton but slower upload speeds, resulting in a dead heat between the networks. Telkom also achieved high download speeds in Sandton.

Operator Mean Latency (ms) Mean Download (Mbps) Mean Upload (Mbps) Network Quality Score
MTN 31 54.5 24.0 9.4
Vodacom 25 55.1 17.3 9.3
Telkom 23 41.3 4.8 6.9
Rain 24 24.6 7.2 5.2
Cell C 30 22.8 10.0 4.8

Now read: Here are the best and worst mobile operators in South Africa

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The best mobile network in Johannesburg