Mobile speeds on the Gautrain tested — with two clear winners

MyBroadband Insights tested the mobile broadband speeds on the Gautrain, which revealed that MTN and Vodacom were clear leaders in coverage and performance.

The Gautrain’s 80-kilometre railway system links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni, and O.R. Tambo International Airport.

The train reaches 160 km/h, which allows commuters to travel from Pretoria to Park Station in Johannesburg in 35 minutes.

Many Gautrain commuters surf the web on their smartphones while travelling, which means good mobile connectivity is vital along the route.

MyBroadband Insights tested the performance of South Africa’s five mobile networks on the Gautrain route between Hatfield and Park station.

The testing was performed using two devices on each network — a Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and a Huawei P40 Lite 5G.

A custom version of MyBroadband’s speed test app was loaded on each phone and set to perform speed tests at 1-minute intervals.

The Hatfield to Park station round-trip took 117 minutes, allowing 234 speed tests per network.

Coverage problems mean many tests failed or produced speeds that were too slow for standard online services.

To give an accurate view of the coverage along the route, only tests with a download speed of at least 5Mbps and an upload speed of at least 2Mbps were considered.

MTN had the best performance with 196 tests which exceeded the benchmark. Rain had the worst performance with 108 successful tests.

MTN also topped the speed ranking with an average download speed of 123.52Mbps. Vodacom followed was a close second with 105.24Mbps.

Telkom, Cell C and Rain were far behind the two leaders, with average download speeds of 25.59Mbps, 13.65Mbps, and 12.71Mbps, respectively.

The coverage maps for each operator, provided below, show that coverage on the northern part of the route is better than the southern part.

This is expected as the southern part of the Gautrain route contains more tunnels which significantly impact mobile coverage.

The table and maps below summarise MyBroadband Insights’ Gautrain mobile broadband test.

Mobile Coverage on the Gautrain route
Network Successful Tests Tests exceeding benchmark Coverage
MTN 207 196 84%
Vodacom 190 155 66%
Telkom 161 129 55%
Cell C 170 114 49%
Rain 171 108 46%
Mobile Connectivity Speed on the Gautrain
Network Average Download (Mbps) Average Upload (Mbps) Average Latency (ms)
MTN 123.52 32.05 28.62
Vodacom 105.24 16.53 43.25
Telkom 25.59 8.75 27.56
Cell C 13.65 5.96 53.62
Rain 12.71 6.50 34.43

MTN Results


Vodacom Results


Telkom Results


Cell C Results


Rain Results


Now read: Plans to expand Gautrain beyond Johannesburg and Pretoria

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Mobile speeds on the Gautrain tested — with two clear winners