Analytico’s 2022 South African Mobile Data Market Report shows that MTN has built a commanding lead in mobile data network performance over Vodacom, Telkom, Rain, and Cell C.

Analytico is a research company that provides research reports, network intelligence, and marketing insights to South African ICT companies.

The 2022 South African Mobile Data Market Report gives an overview of the local mobile data market.

The research revealed that mobile data network quality in South Africa improved significantly over the last five years.

At the beginning of 2018, the average download speed was 20Mbps, and the average upload speed was 9Mbps.

Five years later, the average download speed increased to 43Mbps, and the average upload speed increased to 14Mbps. Latency over this period dropped from 47ms to 39ms.

MTN’s performance improved the most over the last five years. It tripled its average download speed and doubled its average upload speed.

MTN’s download speed of 73Mbps is much higher than its closest competitor, Vodacom, at 44Mbps. Telkom, Rain, and Cell C struggle to compete on network quality against MTN and Vodacom.

Big improvements expected following spectrum auction

The network performance improvements are expected to continue following the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s high-demand radio frequency spectrum auction in March 2022.

Cell C, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, MTN, Rain Networks, Telkom, and Vodacom spent R14.5 billion to acquire spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 2,600MHz, and 3,500MHz bands.

Vodacom bet big on the 2,600Mhz spectrum band. It acquired 80MHz of 2,600Mhz spectrum and only 10Mhz in the 3,500MHz band.

MTN, in comparison, hedged its bets and bought 40MHz in the 2,600Mhz spectrum band and 40Mhz in the 3,500MHz band.

Rain acquired 20Mhz in the 700MHz band and bought 20Mhz in the 2,600Mhz band, which will complement its existing 20MHz in this band.

Following the auction, Vodacom and MTN are well-positioned to increase the capacity on their 4G and 5G networks and rapidly grow these networks.

Analytico’s 2022 South African Mobile Data Market Report is available from Analytico.