Mobile Network Experience Report South Africa August 2020

South Africa

Mobile Network Experience Report
August 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 won our Video Experience award but only Cell C improved its score

MTN kept hold of our Video Experience award but the operator’s score decreased by one point in the last six months. Vodacom and Telkom also experienced declines in our Video Experience metric, while Cell C was the only operator improving since our March report, and it has now joined MTN and Vodacom in the Very Good (65-75) Video Experience category. These are impressive results showing the resilience of the mobile network experience when faced with the challenges presented by 2020.

Vodacom and MTN tied for our Games Experience award

Vodacom and MTN statistically tied for our Games Experience award with scores of 36.9 and 36.8 respectively on a 0 to 100 point scale, while the other two operators followed closely behind with scores of 35.7 and 34.4. All four South African operators placed in the Very Poor Games Experience category (0-40) which means that almost all users experienced noticeable delays within games, with most of them not feeling like they had full control of the gameplay. Opensignal's Games Experience metric uses measurements of real-world mobile network conditions to assess the mobile multiplayer games experience felt by users on different wireless networks.

Voice App Experience scores decreased across all four operators

In the last six months we observed all four South African operators lose ground in our Voice App Experience metric. In our last report three operators passed the 70-point threshold, and Vodacom was the only one reaching the Acceptable (74-80) category with a score of 75. In this report, all four operators scored below 70, with both Vodacom and Cell C moving down one category.

MTN won both Download and Upload Speed Experience awards

MTN kept hold of our Download Speed Experience award and has now also won our Upload Speed Experience award outright thanks to improvements to its scores, but also because our Vodacom users experienced declining speeds in both metrics, thus increasing the gap between MTN and its main challenger. Our Cell C users on average saw improvements of 1 Mbps and 0.3 Mbps respectively in their download and upload speeds, while our Telkom users saw their average Download Speed Experience decrease below 10 Mbps down from the 11.7 Mbps that we reported back in March 2020.

All operators improved in 4G Availability, with scores above 80%

4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience were the only two metrics where we saw all four operators improve in this six months period. Cell C showed the largest improvement of 4.2 percentage points in 4G Availability, which pushed the operator above the 80% threshold alongside MTN, Telkom and Vodacom. No operator in South Africa has reached the 90% threshold, but MTN and Telkom are now very close at 89.5% and 88.6%, respectively, and will hit that mark in our next report if they keep the same improvement rate.

Introduction

A quick glance at our awards table shows that MTN and Vodacom are still the two main players in South Africa’s mobile experience landscape, while Telkom and Cell C haven’t made an appearance in the table, yet.

In this report MTN won four awards — Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, 4G Availability and now also Upload Speed Experience — and drew another two with Vodacom — Games Experience and Voice App Experience. Vodacom, on the other hand, kept hold of our 4G Coverage Experience award.

However, in the past six months we observed a mixed bag of trends compared to what we reported in March 2020, as our users on all networks saw their average experience increase in a number of metrics, and decrease in some others. These results show that despite the challenges of COVID-19 in 2020, the mobile network experience in South Africa has been mostly resilient.

While in March 2020 we saw the four operators improve across all metrics, except for Cell C in 4G Availability, this time we recorded some setbacks. For example, our Vodacom and Telkom users saw their average Download Speed Experience decline by 18.8% and 15.6% respectively, compared to six months ago. On the other hand, our Cell C users now on average have a Very Poor (60-66) Voice App Experience, which is one step down from the Poor score (66-74) they saw in March. MTN was not entirely immune to the situation, and also saw limited declines in Video Experience and Voice App Experience.

Opensignal Awards Table

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

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Telkom
59.0
Cell C
65.4
MTN
71.0
Vodacom
68.7
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
59.0
Cell C
65.4
MTN
71.0
Vodacom
68.7
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
63.0 (± 0.59) 70.0 (± 0.60) 75.5 (± 0.32) 72.9 (± 0.28)
3G Video Experience
45.1 (± 1.34) 55.6 (± 1.34) 55.3 (± 1.09) 54.0 (± 0.90)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
63 (± 0.59)
70 (± 0.60)
76 (± 0.32)
73 (± 0.28)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
45 (± 1.34)
56 (± 1.34)
55 (± 1.09)
54 (± 0.90)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Telkom
35.7
Cell C
34.4
MTN
36.8
Vodacom
36.9
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Games Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Games Experience
37.0 (± 0.12) 35.8 (± 0.16) 38.2 (± 0.09) 37.8 (± 0.07)
3G Games Experience
31.2 (± 0.28) 31.3 (± 0.31) 31.9 (± 0.27) 33.6 (± 0.17)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
37 (± 0.12)
36 (± 0.16)
38 (± 0.09)
38 (± 0.07)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
31 (± 0.28)
31 (± 0.31)
32 (± 0.27)
34 (± 0.17)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Voice App Experience

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Telkom
67.2
Cell C
64.1
MTN
68.7
Vodacom
68.4
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
69.8 (± 0.33) 66.8 (± 0.46) 71.2 (± 0.29) 70.1 (± 0.24)
3G Voice App Experience
58.3 (± 0.74) 58.2 (± 0.68) 60.1 (± 0.65) 62.3 (± 0.45)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
70 (± 0.33)
67 (± 0.46)
71 (± 0.29)
70 (± 0.24)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
58 (± 0.74)
58 (± 0.68)
60 (± 0.65)
62 (± 0.45)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Telkom
9.9
Cell C
12.5
MTN
26.4
Vodacom
18.5
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
11.5 (± 0.19) 15.3 (± 0.35) 32.4 (± 0.46) 22.1 (± 0.23)
3G Download Speed
4.3 (± 0.13) 6.6 (± 0.20) 6.0 (± 0.15) 5.6 (± 0.10)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
11 (± 0.19)
15 (± 0.35)
32 (± 0.46)
22 (± 0.23)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.13)
7 (± 0.20)
6 (± 0.15)
6 (± 0.10)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Telkom
3.5
Cell C
4.4
MTN
8.0
Vodacom
5.9
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
4.2 (± 0.06) 5.7 (± 0.15) 10.0 (± 0.15) 7.1 (± 0.08)
3G Upload Speed
1.0 (± 0.03) 1.6 (± 0.06) 1.3 (± 0.05) 1.5 (± 0.04)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.06)
6 (± 0.15)
10 (± 0.15)
7 (± 0.08)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.03)
2 (± 0.06)
1 (± 0.05)
1 (± 0.04)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

4G Availability
% of time
Telkom
88.6
Cell C
81.0
MTN
89.5
Vodacom
83.6
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
4.5
Cell C
4.2
MTN
5.9
Vodacom
6.6
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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