Telecommunications giant MTN has, once again, been named South Africa’s best mobile network for the second quarter of 2020.
The MyBroadband Insights quarterly Mobile Network Quality Report shows that MTN had a network quality score of 9.94 during South Africa’s lockdown, higher than its first quarter score of 9.69.
The second-quarter report ranks South Africa's mobile networks on a network quality score, which considers download speed, upload speed and latency, based on 278 890 speed tests performed by 17 573 MyBroadband Android Speed Test App users across South Africa between April 1 and June 30.
Vodacom’s score deteriorated from 7.13 in the first quarter to 6.17 in the second quarter.
Telkom, with a network score of 4.81, experienced an increase on the 4.61 registered in the preceding quarter, while Cell C achieved a score of 4.51, which is a contraction on the score of 5 achieved in the first quarter.
Rain’s overall network score declined from 5.51 in the first quarter of the year to 4.24 in the quarter under review.
During the lockdown period, there was pressure on mobile networks to maintain good service levels amid a 50% surge in demand for data, with higher data traffic traditionally leading to a decrease in network speeds.
However, temporary spectrum issued by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to mobile operators in April helped mobile networks to maintain and even exceed their average speeds during the lockdown.
Overall, South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 27.13 Mb/s and an average upload speed of 10.53 Mb/s, an increase on the first quarter’s mobile download speed of 25.57 Mb/s and upload speed of 9.07 Mb/s.
MTN, Cell C and Telkom all improved their download speeds during the quarter under review, while Vodacom and Rain experienced deteriorations.
MTN had the highest average download speed at 52.28 Mb/s, up 20.27% from the 43.47 Mb/s reported in the first quarter.
This was followed by Vodacom with a download speed of 29.08 Mb/s in the second quarter, a contraction of 2.38% from the first quarter's speed of 29.79 Mb/s.
Telkom increased its download speed 5.49% from 19.11 Mb/s in the first quarter to 20.16 Mb/s in the second quarter, while Cell C increased its download speeds marginally from 17.52 Mb/s to 17.62 Mb/s during the quarter under review.
However, the average download speed on Rain’s network declined a significant 30% to 10.64 Mb/s during the lockdown owing to the allocation of the incorrect spectrum.
The assigned spectrum, which was unsuitable for rapid deployment with their current radios, was not what Rain requested.
Rain is currently in the process of procuring new radios to use the new spectrum.