Mobile Network Experience Report South Africa March 2020

South Africa

Mobile Network Experience Report
March 2020

Opensignal Active Userbase in South Africa
Total Devices
128,528
Total Measurements
461,168,523
Data Collection Period
Nov 01 Jan 29, 2020

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author
Francesco Rizzato Principal Technical Analyst

Key findings

MTN and Vodacom reach the Very Good category for Video Experience

MTN is now the leader in our Video Experience measurements scoring 72.0 points, which means the operator falls within the Very Good category (65-75). Vodacom also moved into the Very Good category at 70.7, while Telkom has narrowed the gap between the Video Experience seen by its users and those on Cell C from 5.3 points to 0.6 points since our last report.

MTN jumps ahead in Download Speed Experience

MTN recorded an impressive 6.1 Mbps improvement in Download Speed Experience, which pushed the operator into first place — having previously tied with Vodacom — with its users observing average speeds of 24.7 Mbps. Vodacom exceeded the 20 Mbps threshold reaching a 22.7 Download Speed Experience, while Telkom and Cell C still lagged behind at 11.7 Mbps and 11.5 Mbps, respectively — showing little improvement compared to our previous report.

Three operators exceed 80% 4G Availability, with MTN nearing 90%

MTN cemented its lead in 4G Availability with a 88.4% score. Telkom and Vodacom exceeded 80% 4G Availability as well, having improved respectively by 6.4 and 3.9 percentage points since our previous report. Surprisingly, Cell C’s users observed a drop of 1.5 percentage points in 4G Availability, settling down at 76.8%.

Vodacom is the only operator scoring an Acceptable Voice App Experience

Vodacom won our Voice App Experience award scoring 75.0 points, making it the only operator to achieve the Acceptable category (74-80). MTN, Telkom and Cell C landed in the Poor category (66-74), which means many of our users on their networks were dissatisfied, and experienced distortions, clicking sounds or silence during the call when using over-the-top (OTT) voice services on apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger.

Introduction

A first glance at our awards table would suggest that things haven’t changed much in South Africa compared to six months ago, with MTN and Vodacom winning some mobile experience awards each, and sharing the lead in the others.

However, a closer look reveals that MTN is slowly turning the tide in its favor. MTN has now won our Video Experience and Download Speed Experience awards — which the operator tied with Vodacom in August 2019 — and has now tied Upload Speed Experience and Latency Experience — which MTN was losing to Vodacom six months ago. MTN has also retained the lead in 4G Availability. On the other hand, Vodacom won our two new metrics — Voice App Experience and 4G Coverage Experience — which we launched in the months following our last South Africa report.

In the past six months MTN has made significant improvements across the board, taking the lead in three of our seven award metrics. Vodacom also showed improvements, but the operator has conceded ground to MTN across all of the metrics that are present in both this report and our previous one, with the distance between the two operators changing in the favor of MTN. Telkom and Cell C are still lagging behind, but showed improvements across all of these metrics, save for Cell C in 4G Availability, which saw the operator’s score decreasing by 1.5 percentage points.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, South Africa
March 2020, South Africa Report
Video Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
March 2020, South Africa
Video Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
March 2020, South Africa
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Telkom
59.4
Cell C
60.0
MTN
72.0
Vodacom
70.7
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

National Analysis

Video Experience

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Telkom
59.4
Cell C
60.0
MTN
72.0
Vodacom
70.7
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
65.3 (± 0.65) 67.7 (± 1.03) 77.9 (± 0.34) 76.0 (± 0.29)
3G Video Experience
41.2 (± 1.48) 47.6 (± 1.84) 53.4 (± 1.49) 54.1 (± 1.02)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
65 (± 0.65)
68 (± 1.03)
78 (± 0.34)
76 (± 0.29)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
41 (± 1.48)
48 (± 1.84)
53 (± 1.49)
54 (± 1.02)
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Voice App Experience

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Telkom
70.6
Cell C
69.0
MTN
72.2
Vodacom
75.0
Impossible to communicate Unintelligible Very Poor Poor Acceptable Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Voice App Experience
73.4 (± 0.38) 72.9 (± 0.53) 74.8 (± 0.34) 77.2 (± 0.19)
3G Voice App Experience
61.8 (± 0.94) 62.7 (± 1.04) 64.1 (± 0.81) 68.3 (± 0.46)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
73 (± 0.38)
73 (± 0.53)
75 (± 0.34)
77 (± 0.19)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
62 (± 0.94)
63 (± 1.04)
64 (± 0.81)
68 (± 0.46)
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Telkom
11.7
Cell C
11.5
MTN
24.7
Vodacom
22.7
0 6.25 12.5 18.75 25
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
13.8 (± 0.22) 14.6 (± 0.34) 30.6 (± 0.42) 28.1 (± 0.28)
3G Download Speed
5.2 (± 0.14) 6.6 (± 0.20) 6.3 (± 0.15) 5.9 (± 0.10)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
14 (± 0.22)
15 (± 0.34)
31 (± 0.42)
28 (± 0.28)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.14)
7 (± 0.20)
6 (± 0.15)
6 (± 0.10)
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Telkom
3.3
Cell C
4.1
MTN
7.0
Vodacom
6.8
0 1.875 3.75 5.625 7.5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
4.0 (± 0.07) 5.8 (± 0.16) 8.8 (± 0.14) 8.5 (± 0.10)
3G Upload Speed
1.1 (± 0.04) 1.4 (± 0.06) 1.2 (± 0.05) 1.5 (± 0.04)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.07)
6 (± 0.16)
9 (± 0.14)
8 (± 0.10)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.04)
1 (± 0.06)
1 (± 0.05)
1 (± 0.04)
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Latency Experience

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
Telkom
43.8
Cell C
48.1
MTN
36.2
Vodacom
36.0
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
36.5 (± 0.31) 40.2 (± 0.45) 29.6 (± 0.17) 31.8 (± 0.13)
3G Latency
66.4 (± 1.14) 60.9 (± 1.26) 56.7 (± 0.87) 48.8 (± 0.53)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
36 (± 0.31)
40 (± 0.45)
30 (± 0.17)
32 (± 0.13)
3G Latency in ms
66 (± 1.14)
61 (± 1.26)
57 (± 0.87)
49 (± 0.53)
Mobile Network Experience Report | March 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

4G Availability
% of time
Telkom
85.9
Cell C
76.8
MTN
88.4
Vodacom
82.5
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Coverage Experience

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Telkom
4.4
Cell C
4.1
MTN
5.8
Vodacom
6.2
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Learn more

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks in the places they live, work and travel.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the true experience of smartphone users. Therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars. In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

More about Methodology

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For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars.

In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

Why confidence intervals are vital in analyzing mobile network experience

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