MTN resilience upgrades improves network experience for users

MyBroadband measured the impact of MTN’s plan to upgrade its key sites as part of a comprehensive network resilience plan.

The plan included working with vendors and providers to upgrade rectifiers, add additional battery capacity – allowing for a minimum of six hours of battery autonomy – and increase the number of static and mobile generators.

Additional security measures were deployed in areas with higher risks of vandalism, such as replacing copper cables with aluminium.

The upgrades also included capacity enhancements, using MTN’s available spectrum better.

To evaluate the impact of these resilience upgrades, MyBroadband analysed MTN’s network performance in various regions of Johannesburg, including central Johannesburg, Sandton, Krugersdorp, Soweto and Johannesburg South.

We analysed data from the MyBroadband Speedtest app using tests conducted in the first and third quarters of 2023 to measure the change in network performance from the upgrades.

Data from the first few months of 2023 shows that MTN was struggling to combat the effects of load-shedding, which negatively impacted the network experience of its users.

Comparing this with data from the same areas six months later shows a significant upswing, proving that these upgrades have improved the user experience.

At the start of the year, the average download speed in the selected areas was only 107 Mbps, with upload speeds of 29 Mbps.

After the resilience upgrades, the average download speed is up to 145 Mbps, a 35% improvement.

Upload speeds also improved by 21%, up to 35 Mbps.

MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita recently said they aim to increase their network uptime in South Africa to 99% during stage 6 load-shedding.

This will consume a sizable portion of MTN’s capital expenditure budget, but Mupita said they remain committed to investing at least R10 billion per year for the next five years into their South African network.

The MTN resilience testing results are summarised in the table below.

MTN Network Resilience Upgrades
Vendor Before Upgrades After Upgrades Difference
Average Download (Mbps) 107.05 145.04 35%
Average Upload (Mbps) 29.29 35.49 21%

Now read: MTN launches prepaid eSIM

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MTN resilience upgrades improves network experience for users