Vodacom and MTN tested in Pofadder — and the winner is clear

MyBroadband Insights recently tested the mobile network quality in several smaller towns in the Northern Cape while en route to larger cities for its quarterly drive testing.

Network coverage and data throughput tests are conducted using the MyBroadband Speed Test App, running on Android smartphones.

SIMs from Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, Telkom, and Rain were installed in our test devices. A SIM from each network was placed in identical devices to ensure a fair test.

Several makes and models of Android devices — five of each type — were also used to ensure there was hardware diversity in the test.

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

While taking the road less travelled from Cape Town to Johannesburg via Namaqualand, we conduct tests in Springbok and Pofadder.

Thousands of speed tests were conducted along the route, and hundreds 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.


MTN had the highest average download speed in Springbok at an average of 56.8Mbps, and the highest average upload speed of 24.2Mbps.

Telkom had the second-highest download speed (34Mbps) and Cell C third (21.2Mbps).

Latency caused MTN to fall short of a perfect score in Springbok, with its 52 milliseconds average coming third to Telkom’s 42ms and Vodacom’s 40ms.


MTN posted an incredible average download speed of 90Mbps in Pofadder, handily beating Vodacom (14Mbps) and Cell C (2.7Mbps).

It also had a significantly higher average upload speed (30Mbps) than Vodacom (5Mbps) and Cell C (2Mbps).

MTN had the second-best average latency (69ms), with Vodacom posting the best average latency (46ms) in the town.

There was no Telkom or Rain signal in Pofadder. However, Telkom clients in Pofadder should be able to roam on the Vodacom network.

Now read: South Africa’s best mobile network revealed — and one operator stands out

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Vodacom and MTN tested in Pofadder — and the winner is clear