MTN boasts best mobile voice network in South Africa in 2023

17th July 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Telecommunications giant MTN has emerged as South Africa’s best mobile voice network provider in MyBroadband Insights’ 2023 Mobile Voice Network Quality Report.

MyBroadband Insights’ extensive network quality testing project, between March 20 and April 24, showed that MTN had the best mobile voice network in South Africa, followed by Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom.

MTN secured an overall quality score of 66.3%, followed by Vodacom with an overall quality score of 64.8%. Cell C ranked third with a score of 54% and Telkom fourth with a score of 48.8%.

The study revealed that the mobile operators, however, were struggling to meet the standards stipulated in the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa’s) End-user and Subscriber Charter regulations.

According to the report, released on Monday, the regulations require mobile operators to achieve an average call setup success ratio of 98% and an average dropped call ratio of below 3%.

It further requires an average call setup time below nine seconds and an average speech quality mean opinion score higher than three.

The results of the testing found that there was not a consistent winner across the individual Icasa categories.

While MTN had the best dropped call ratio and speech quality mean opinion score, Vodacom recorded the lowest call setup time and Telkom had the highest call setup success ratio. Cell C had the worst call setup time and dropped call ratio, Vodacom had the worst call success ratio, and Telkom had the worst speech quality mean opinion score.

MTN achieved the highest speech quality mean opinion score with an average value of 4.21, followed by Vodacom with the highest speech quality mean opinion score of 3.87, Cell C with 3.86 and Telkom with 3.5.

MTN also achieved an average dropped call ratio of only 2.37%, with Vodacom achieving second position with a dropped call ratio of 3.41%, and Telkom at 4.12%, and Cell C 4.94%.

In terms of average call setup time, Vodacom secured the top spot with a time of 1.82s, followed by MTN with a time of 2.54s, while Telkom recorded a time of 3.86s and Cell C, ranking last, reported an average call setup time of 8.20s.

During the testing period, Telkom achieved an average call success ratio of 98.88%, ahead of MTN at 98.20% and Cell C at 98.04%. Vodacom performed the worst at 97.96%.

The report is the outcome of mobile network quality testing conducted between March 20 and April 24, compiled from data obtained as the MyBroadband Insights team, in partnership with Analytico and Keysight distributor Coral-I, drove over 10 000 km, made 93 912 calls and recorded over 41 000 call minutes.

According to the report, Keysight’s network testing platform Nemo was used to test a range of voice network quality variables, while network performance was also measured according to Icasa’s End-user and Subscriber Charter.

MyBroadband Insights used the globally recognised European Telecommunications Standards Institute specification to rank the mobile operators’ voice network quality.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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