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Speedtest confirms MTN mobile broadband leadership


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Data from Speedtest, the
connectivity testing service from Ookla, has confirmed earlier claims
that MTN has the fastest mobile network in South Africa.

Ookla’s Q1 Market Report on the
state of South Africa’s mobile and fixed networks shows that MTN had the
fastest mobile download Speed Score in South Africa during the first quarter of
2021 at 54.38Mbps. MTN also had the highest 4G Availability in the country
with 90.5%.

This backs up the findings of
a quarterly report issued by MyBroadband, which uses crowdsourced data from
network users to measure network performance. Network Quality scores are
allocated to each network based on performance with a maximum possible score of
10. MTN achieved a network quality score of 9.73 in comparison to the 5.65
achieved by its nearest competitor. 

The report is based on 349,575
speed tests performed by MyBroadband Speed Test App users across South Africa
between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021. The data showed that South Africa had
an average mobile download speed of 33.23Mbps and an average upload speed of

MTN had the highest average download speed at 64.29Mbps, followed by Vodacom on
32.76Mbps, Telkom on 27.83Mbps, Cell C on 20.82Mbps and Rain on 10.58Mbps.

It should be noted that
MyBroadband users tend to be more connectivity-aware than the average South
African Internet user, hence are more likely to have faster connections. This
would explain the slower speeds – but same ranking – reported by Ookla.

MyBroadband said MTN’s exceptional performance was a result of a R50-billion
infrastructure investment over the past five years to extend coverage, improve
network quality, and increase speeds.

“We have continued to maximise on
the opportunity created by the increased spectrum, to expand and enhance
our world-class network, we’ve been able to bring more people online and we
have been able to reduce prices,” said MTN SA CEO, Godfrey Motsa. 

MTN SA chief technology and
information officer Giovanni Chiarelli said MTN’s teams of technicians and
engineers had not only maintained its network experience, but also improved it,
despite huge shifting demands on data usage during the pandemic, along with
operational challenges due to load shedding and theft.

The Ookla report also measured fixed-line broadband, primarily fibre access. It found Cool Ideas was the fastest fixed broadband provider in South Africa with a Speed Score of 37.80, followed by Afrihost at 31.32 and Webafrica at 30.87.

Johannesburg had the fastest mean fixed broadband download speed at 53.48 Mbps and the fastest download speed over mobile at 54.64 Mbps.

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