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Best mobile voice network in South Africa in 2023

MyBroadband Insights has released its 2023 Mobile Voice Network Quality Report, which shows that MTN has the best mobile voice service in South Africa.

The report is based on South Africa’s biggest-ever mobile network quality test, conducted between 20 March and 24 April.

Over the testing period, MyBroadband Insights travelled over 10,000 kilometres, made 93,912 calls, and recorded over 41,000 call minutes.

MyBroadband Insights partnered with Analytico and Keysight distributor Coral-i for the extensive, country-wide network testing project.

This project used Keysight’s world-leading network testing platform, Nemo, to test a range of voice network quality variables.

Network performance was also measured according to the latest End-user and Subscriber Charter from the industry regulator ICASA.

The regulations require mobile operators to achieve an Average Call Setup Success Ratio (CSSR) of 98% and an Average Dropped Call Ratio (DCR) of below 3%.

It further requires an Average Call Setup Time (CST) of below 9 seconds and an Average Speech Quality Mean Opinion Score (MOS) of higher than 3.

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

Voice network performance summary

MyBroadband Insights’ extensive network quality testing project showed that MTN has the best mobile voice network in South Africa, followed by Vodacom, Cell C, and Telkom.

It further revealed that the mobile operators struggle to meet the standards stipulated in ICASA’s End-user and Subscriber Charter regulations.

Looking at the individual ICASA categories revealed that there was not a consistent winner across all categories.

MTN achieved the highest speech quality mean opinion score in South Africa, with an average value of 4.21. Vodacom was second, followed by Cell C and Telkom.

MTN also achieved an average dropped call ratio of only 2.37%, far better than Vodacom at 3.41%, Telkom at 4.12%, and Cell C at 4.94%.

Vodacom achieved an average call setup time of 1.82s, which was the best of all operators. MTN ranked second, followed by Telkom and Cell C.

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

The table below provides an overview of the 2023 Mobile Voice Network Quality Report results.

Operator Speech Quality MOS Dropped Call Ratio Call Success Ratio Call Setup
Overall Score
MTN 4.21 2.37% 98.20% 2.54s 66.30%
Vodacom 3.87 3.41% 97.96% 1.82s 64.80%
Cell C 3.86 4.94% 98.04% 8.20s 54.00%
Telkom 3.50 4.12% 98.88% 3.86s 48.80%