Vodacom 5G tested – Remarkable difference based on your phone

Vodacom launched South Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town – with further rollouts planned to other parts of the country.

This network supports both mobile and fixed-wireless services and is currently available on 20 live 5G sites – 18 of which are in Gauteng, and two in Cape Town.

Vodacom’s 5G network uses the 1 x 50MHz of temporary spectrum in the 3.5GHz band which has been granted by ICASA.

Vodacom said at launch that, given enough spectrum, 5G will work at average speeds of between 150Mbps-200Mbps. Peak speeds will reach above 1Gbps.

“The speeds and latency will be determined by the coverage at the user’s location and the load on the network at a given point in time,” said Vodacom.

“Other factors that need to be taken into consideration include how far away you are from a mast, which spectrum is being used, and how many people around you are using 5G.”

Vodacom said that upload speeds will initially not be as good as download speeds, and can be expected to be between 10Mbps-20Mbps – depending on coverage.

“This is because the customer device has lower transmission power to communicate back to the base station, relative to a base station communicating to the customer device.”

“This is also combined with other elements such as the lower propagation characteristics of higher frequency bands such as 3.5GHz, which don’t travel as far as lower frequencies.”

The uplink performance will improve as newer devices support capabilities such as uplink and downlink decoupling, it added.

Testing network performance

MyBroadband tested Vodacom’s 5G performance on Tuesday 14 July using two 5G smartphones – the Huawei P40 Pro and the LG V50 ThinQ.

We tested the download speed, upload speed, and latency using MyBroadband’s speed test app in three locations – Midstream, Menlyn, and Eco-Park.

To ensure a neutral testing environment, MyBroadband’s speed test servers are hosted at NAPAfrica in Teraco’s vendor-neutral data centres.

The results showed that the device you use makes a remarkable difference in the performance which you experience.

The average download speed on the Huawei P40 Pro was nearly three-times higher than the LG V50 ThinQ.

The upload speed and latency on the Huawei phone were also much better than on the LG V50.

The tables below provide an overview of Vodacom’s 5G network speeds using the Huawei P40 Pro and the LG V50 ThinQ.


Huawei P40 Pro 5G performance on Vodacom’s network

Huawei P40 Pro 5G Performance
Component Performance
Average Download Speed 403Mbps
Maximum Download Speed 555Mbps
Minimum Download Speed 273Mbps
Average Upload Speed 33Mbps
Maximum Upload Speed 38Mbps
Minimum Upload Speed 17Mbps
Average Latency 17ms
Lowest Latency 15ms
Highest Latency 20ms


LG V50 ThinQ 5G performance on Vodacom’s network

LG V50 5G Performance
Component Performance
Average Download Speed 141Mbps
Maximum Download Speed 171Mbps
Minimum Download Speed 62Mbps
Average Upload Speed 27Mbps
Maximum Upload Speed 36Mbps
Minimum Upload Speed 4Mbps
Average Latency 29ms
Lowest Latency 25ms
Highest Latency 36ms

LG-V50-ThinQ Front


Huawei P40 Pro versus LG V50 ThinQ

Huawei P40 Pro 5G
Area Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
Midstream Estate 554.716 33.884 17
Midstream Estate 513.956 34.826 19
Midstream Estate 492.905 36.113 20
Midstream Estate 482.376 32.887 16
Waterkloof Glen 462.135 35.478 15
Waterkloof Glen 425.685 21.616 17
Waterkloof Glen 363.669 36.826 16
Waterkloof Glen 287.527 38.083 17
Eco-Park Estate 378.313 17.224 19
Eco-Park Estate 308.600 35.952 20
Eco-Park Estate 288.427 33.826 16
Eco-Park Estate 272.638 35.593 16
Average 402.579 32.692 17
LG V50 ThinQ
Area Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms)
Midstream Estate 159.883 33.771 28
Midstream Estate 147.787 35.933 31
Midstream Estate 138.710 33.125 26
Midstream Estate 132.626 32.960 27
Waterkloof Glen 152.904 30.920 26
Waterkloof Glen 125.479 4.301 36
Waterkloof Glen 124.092 23.436 33
Waterkloof Glen 61.569 24.204 29
Eco-Park Estate 170.656 34.234 27
Eco-Park Estate 167.076 19.495 31
Eco-Park Estate 164.606 15.761 25
Eco-Park Estate 145.670 35.904 26
Average 140.922 27.004 29

Now read: MyBroadband tests Vodacom 5G – Unexpected results

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Vodacom 5G tested – Remarkable difference based on your phone