The best and worst mobile networks in South Africa

MyBroadband Insights has released the Q3 2020 Mobile Network Quality Report, which shows that MTN had the best mobile network in South Africa during the lockdown.

The report is based on 334,257 speed tests which were performed by thousands of MyBroadband Speed Test App users across South Africa between 1 July and 30 September 2020.

The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 29.16Mbps and an average upload speed of 11.46Mbps.

MTN had the highest average download speed at 55.11Mbps, followed by Vodacom on 29.80Mbps, Telkom on 23.60Mbps, Cell C on 17.82Mbps, and Rain on 10.02Mbps.

Over the last quarter, the average network speed of South Africa’s mobile operators increased despite the increased network traffic.

This was made possible by the temporary spectrum which was issued to mobile operators during the lockdown.

This temporary spectrum has helped mobile networks to increase their network capacity and improve their average speeds during the lockdown.

There was one exception – Rain. The average download speed on Rain’s network declined significantly during the lockdown because of congestion problems.

Before the lockdown, Rain’s average download speed was 15.20Mbps. After the lockdown started, its average speed plummeted by 30%, which shows the impact of increased traffic on network performance.

Best mobile network in South Africa

To determine the best mobile network in South Africa, a “Network Quality Score” was calculated for each network using download speed, upload speed, and latency.

The Network Quality Score out of 10 then shows how the network performed in relation to other networks.

MTN reigned supreme with a Network Quality Score of 9.68, followed by Vodacom on 5.99, Telkom on 5.16, Cell C on 4.27, and Rain on 3.74.

The table below provides an overview of the mobile network rankings in South Africa.

South African Network Performance Ranked
Network Operator Download Speed (Mbps) Upload Speed (Mbps) Latency (ms) Network Quality Score
MTN 55.11 22.78 38 9.68
Vodacom 29.80 10.97 36 5.99
Telkom 23.60 6.70 32 5.16
Cell C 17.82 8.67 41 4.27
Rain 10.02 9.44 35 3.74

South Africa’s Average Mobile Network Performance


Change in download speed


Mobile Network Quality Scores


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The best and worst mobile networks in South Africa