MTN emerges as the top mobile network in South Africa

02 March 2018 3 min. read
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In direct contrast to public perceptions that have emerged in recent months, a study conducted by German business consulting firm, The P3 Group, has revealed that MTN is the best mobile network provider in South Africa, ahead of Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C.

The business-environment for communications service providers in South Africa is improving significantly. Global management consultancy Accenture substantiated earlier this year that ‘smart home’ technology, such as connected security, voice activation systems, and other Internet of Things (IoT) style features have opened up a whole digital ecosystem of opportunities for service providers.

While this spells good news for emerging service providers, they will still find it challenging to break into the market, which has been dominated in recent years by four major companies, namely Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom. These firms compete fiercely for the ever expanding consumer-base in South Africa, as well as to provide the best in service for their existing customers.

Late last year, Pretoria-based market research and consulting firm Consulta developed a South African customer satisfaction index for the telecommunications sector, based on customer evaluations and interviews provided by a massive consumer-base. As per the index, Vodacom emerged as the most popular network by a sizeable margin, followed by Telkom and Cell C, with MTN occupying the last spot for customer satisfaction.

MTN emerges as the top mobile network in South Africa

Now, Aachen-based business consulting firm P3 has developed a ranking of its own for the four providers, based on voice and data network quality rather than customer-perception, and MTN has emerged as the top network on this list.

Founded in 1996, P3 is a global business consulting firm, which works closely with the automotive, aviation, energy, public, and telecommunications sectors to develop solutions based on market research and analysis. The firm operates in 15 countries with more than 3,500 employees, generating revenues of over $350 million.

For the telecommunications study in South Africa, conducted between January and February this year, the firm performed 9,000 tests for voice and 2,600 tests for data (including streaming and Youtube trials) for each of the four providers. 52% of these tests were conducted in cities, 16% in towns, and 32% on the roads, offering a broad picture of the strength of the network.

MTN topped the list for both data and voice in the study, obtaining 324 out of 400 points in the voice study, and 488 out of 600 in the data study. The other networks, while ranked, were not identified by the firm. The second network behind MTN scored 314 in the voice test and 465 in the data test. Another study conducted recently, which the P3 study allegedly reflects, placed MTN in first, while Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C followed in the same order.