Quality of service rankings

This week’s newsletter looks at the Quality of Service (QoS) rankings released by MyBroadband in South Africa. Download, upload and latency measurements are collected using MyBroadband’s Android Speed App. The methodology has its limitations: measurements are limited to Android users; people that are interested enough in QoS to download the Android app and the cost of access is not a factor in the analysis.  Nevertheless, the data provides interesting insights into the status of broadband in South Africa. MTN is the best network in the country by quite a margin, with an average download speed of nearly 75 Mbps compared to Vodacom’s 41.5 Mbps. 

Network operatorDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Cell C18.939.25

MTN scored higher than any other mobile operator for all major cities, with the exception of East London. In Cape Town, for example, MTN had an average download speed of 64 Mbps compared to Vodacom’s 43 Mbps and Telkom’s 31 Mbps. There are two potential explanations for the better QoS for MTN compared to Vodacom: 1) MTN has invested significantly more in network rollout over the previous few years and 2) MTN  has fewer subscribers compared to Vodacom, so congestion on the network may be less, leading to better download and upload speeds. In response, Vodacom is planning on spending more than R10.5 billion (USD 680 million) on its South African network for 2021/2022 financial year. All this is good news for the South African consumer as bandwidth improves. Now, if only prices were to come down a bit faster…..

Other news from around Africa 
  • South Africa: In the ongoing soap opera that is South Africa’s spectrum auctions, MTN and Vodacom are opposing Telkom’s application to halt the spectrum auction planned for March 2022. 
  • Malawi: Business groups are pressurizing the Malawian government to reduce the tax burden on smartphones and other ICT equipment in order to boost Internet access and usage. 
  • Nigeria: Twitter is once again operational in Nigeria after Twitter agreed to open a local, Nigerian office and also to develop a code of conduct. 
  • Botswana: The regulator, BOCRA, will no longer accept physical applications for radio communications licenses. All applications have be through the BOCRA self-service platform.