Vodacom outranks rivals for best quality network in independent mobile network research

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Independent Crowdsourced data company Tutela, which uses a standardised approach to measuring network quality and coverage in over 60 countries globally, says Vodacom outranks its rivals in delivering the best quality 4G and 5G coverage in South Africa and consistent quality for mobile connections.

Earlier this year, independent crowdsourced data company Tutela conducted research into the mobile network experiences of South African consumers across 18.9-billion measurements. The measurements were collected from January to March 2022 across network operator coverage areas nationally, for example in major urban centres such as Johannesburg.

Tutela has designed a set of metrics named Consistent Quality, which use the widely accepted network requirements of different use cases to categorise the quality of connections. Tutela measures six key performance indicators — the average download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, and time to first byte — and calculates what percentage of tests meet or exceed these thresholds. These metrics are critical to ensure a smooth experience across applications in modern mobile user experience such as video streaming, high-definition video and social media apps like Tik Tok and YouTube.

Tutela ran network performance testing software across a diverse range of popular consumer mobile apps and games, to provide insights into the typical mobile experience of users on all mobile networks in South Africa. Data includes mobile signal strength, mobile connection quality and performance of different mobile apps in different locations.

Vodacom South Africa Technology Director Beverly Ngwenya says: “Our focus is always on improving customer experience for all our customers across our network, and these results show that our investment into our South African network is paying dividends, with our customers receiving an unsurpassed experience when it comes to their network quality experience.

“Vodacom continues to prioritise its focus on innovation to provide select products and services, which deliver greater value to customers and become integral to their lives, homes and offices, whether that is streaming entertainment or real-time communications online,” adds Ngwenya.

Tutela’s Mobile Experience Snapshot Report April 2022 ranked Vodacom the highest in delivering relative geographic coverage in South Africa. Relative geographic coverage refers to the number of places where users have received coverage. The research also revealed that Vodacom dominated in Core Consistent Quality (CCQ) and Excellent Consistent Quality (ECQ) for its mobile connections, especially for popular and demanding use cases, including high-definition video streaming, video calling, or multiplayer online games.  Vodacom leads the field by 6.6% in the Core Quality measurement and 7.1% in the Excellent Quality measurement.

“Vodacom’s R50-billion investment over the past five years into our South African network has clearly paid off. We continue to deliver even greater value to customers through quality and extensive broadband coverage, with an unsurpassed experience when it comes to their communication and digital lifestyle needs. Vodacom South Africa will continue to meet the high demand for data and focus on our roll-out of connectivity, especially in the remotest of areas, by committing at least R11-billion to network infrastructure in the country in the next financial year,” says Ngwenya.

As part of Vodacom’s commitment to make accessing technology more inclusive, the company is accelerating reliable broadband coverage across South Africa, especially to rural areas in the country. This past financial year, Vodacom has increased 4G population coverage in South Africa to 97.9%.

In March this year, Vodacom invested R5.38-billion in acquiring high demand spectrum, which will be used to extend both 4G and 5G network coverage to more parts of the country, improve speeds and quality of service to customers.

“By expanding and investing in our network infrastructure, we want to ensure all South Africans can benefit from our reliable, quality, life-changing connectivity. As the country’s leading network, we want to use our technological innovations and capabilities to go further together in building a prosperous, digital future for South Africa,” concludes Ngwenya.

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