New research from Ookla shows that MTN is South Africa’s fastest mobile network by some margin, followed by Vodacom and Telkom.
MTN achieved a “Speed Score” of 63.52 in the third quarter of 2021, compared to Vodacom in second place with 42.93. Telkom at 27.56 and Cell C at 21.91 brought up the rear.
The scores were calculated using end-user devices with “modern chipsets” capable of measuring a network’s full capabilities, Ookla, which owns the popular Speedtest.net service, said in a statement.
The Speed Score incorporates a measure of each operator’s download and upload speed to rank network performance, with 90% of the final score attributed to download speed and 10% to upload speed “because online experiences are typically more affected by download speed”.
Ookla also models a “Consistency Score”, which provides a measure of each provider’s performance. Here, MTN came out top in the third quarter with a score of 91%, followed closely by Telkom (88.5%), Vodacom (85.3%) and Cell C (79.1%).
Across networks, the iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G showed the fastest median download speed in the third quarter of 79.56Mbit/s. The only non-Apple device in the top five was the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, with an median download speed of 67.09Mbit/s, Ookla said.
Telkom came out top in latency, with a median latency — or network roundtrip time — of 19ms, compared to 23ms for Vodacom and MTN, and 30ms for Cell C. (The lower the number, the better.)
The performance of Rain’s network, which is used mainly for fixed-wireless services, is not mentioned in Ookla’s report.
Among fixed-line Internet service providers, Ookla said Cool Ideas was the fastest in the third quarter, with a Speed Score of 53.85. This was followed by Afrihost at 45.74 and Webafrica at 40.69. Webafrica and Cool Ideas came top in latency tests, with median latency of 4ms each, followed by Afrihost and Vox at 5ms each.
In terms of consistency of the performance, Cool Ideas was top with a Consistency Score of 73%, followed by Afrihost (65.9%) and Webafrica (64.3%).
The Ookla numbers are seen as particularly credible given the popularity of its speedtest.net testing platform relative to other such services. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media