Marketing battle between Vodacom and MTN

Vodacom had a slight edge over MTN as the top mobile broadband provider in South Africa, with Telkom and Rain sighting for third place. Cell C failed to make a real showing.

This was revealed in Analytico’s 2023 South African Broadband and ISP Brand Report released this week.

Analytico is a South African research company that focuses on the IT and telecommunications market.

It provides market research, network intelligence, and marketing insights that help companies make accurate and informed decisions.

In April 2023, Analytico conducted its annual survey completed by 4,877 broadband subscribers across South Africa.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked which ISP they would pick if they had to sign up for a new LTE or 5G service.

Vodacom and MTN achieved the same score for LTE connectivity. However, regarding 5G, Vodacom achieved a slight edge over MTN.

There was also a close battle between Telkom and Rain. Telkom achieved better results in LTE, while Rain was favoured for a new 5G service.

The results align closely with the companies’ marketing strategies. Rain is aggressively promoting its 5G service, which shows in its brand awareness in this category.

Cell C has a very poor brand, with only 3% of consumers saying they would pick them for a new LTE service. It does not currently compete in the 5G market.

LTE and 5G providers’ brand strength among different skill levels

MTN is the preferred LTE and 5G network operator among tech-savvy consumers but dropped down the ranks as people’s knowledge levels declined.

MTN’s brand awareness among tech-savvy users is good news, as most households and businesses rely on this group for their telecommunications purchasing decisions.

The main reason for MTN’s good showing among knowledgeable consumers is regular network reports which show its superior performance.

These reports seldom reach non-technical people. Vodacom and Telkom, therefore, outperformed MTN among non-technical people because of better consumer marketing strategies.

Cell C performed the worst in all market segments. Its marketing strategy and network quality failed to convince consumers that it offers a true alternative to Vodacom, MTN, or Telkom.

Rain performed much better, thanks to its aggressive pricing on uncapped 5G products and its growing footprint across South Africa.

This is especially clear when consumers are asked whom they would pick for a new 5G service.

LTE and 5G providers’ brand strength in different cities

MTN was the preferred LTE and 5G provider in Gauteng, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. However, in Cape Town, Vodacom topped the list.

Telkom achieved the best performance in smaller cities like Durban and Port Elizabeth but struggled to achieve the same levels in Gauteng and Cape Town. Rain achieved its best results in Gauteng.

Rain’s strong showing in Gauteng is linked to the fact that it launched its first wireless broadband services in the province.


Now read: Vodacom and MTN get relaxed competition rules to tackle load-shedding

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Marketing battle between Vodacom and MTN