African Press Association

MTN voted superior network even during bouts of load shedding

The resilience of MTN’s network was put to the test in recent independent network performance tests conducted by Germany-based umlaut, formerly known as P3, which, even during load shedding, saw the MTN network achieve a score of 883 out of 1000. For 10 of the 14-day period of the tests on SA mobile networks, South Africa was experiencing rolling black-outs.

This is the third consecutive year that MTN SA achieves the prestigious Lead Overall umlaut Best in Test Award.

The umlaut tests are conducted across all four main mobile operators with approximately 80% of the results based on voice and data performance derived from over 18000 km of national city, town and road drive tests. The remaining 20% of data came from crowd sourced information obtained from approximately six months of Android application measurements based on user network experience, average speeds and mobile coverage.

MTN’s network came out on top in voice and data as well as the crowd sourced quality of the network. The 2020 runner up trailed MTN by a wide margin; netting a score of only 769.

“We are delighted that the substantial investment we have made, and continue to make in our network, averaging over R11 billion a year, enables our customers to enjoy a seamless network experience despite the energy challenges that we are currently facing”, says Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Technology and Information Officer at MTN SA. “Our customers want and deserve the very best. We know that our network is the foundation for all of our customer’s experiences with us and we are very proud to be able to deliver network quality and coverage that no other operator comes close to rivalling.”

“We take pride in the fact that our customers are able to remain connected even during load-shedding. The quality of our network is our key differentiator and this result only strengthens our resolve to continue providing our customers with the best network experience in the country.”

Hakan Ekmen, CEO Telecommunication at umlaut, says “MTN South Africa is `Best in Test`.

Congratulations to MTN South Africa for being best operator in all categories. As the de-facto industry standard, our benchmarking methodology focuses on customer-perceived network quality and covers a wide range of mobile services. Our top priority is to fairly and transparently assess the global development of networks, to push their quality and performance and ultimately achieve improvements for every customer.”

This latest accolade from umlaut comes hot on the heels of consecutive endorsements from a series of MyBroadband tests which recognised MTN as the best tested network in South Africa, and all major cities – including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.

umlaut drive test measurement period was from the 4th to 17th February 2020 and crowd sourced data collection for 24 consecutive calendar weeks ending 18 January 2020.

Full Report available here: https://www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/south-africa



Leigh-Ann Chetty, Senior Manager: Public Relations, MTN SA

Cell: 083 209 1310

E-mail: Leigh-Ann.Chetty@mtn.com

Mthokozisi Ndlovu, Manager: Public Relations, MTN SA

Cell: 083 209 2683

E-mail: Mthokozisi.Ndlovu@mtn.com


Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging markets operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our 240 million customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East. We are inspired by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange  in  South Africa under the share code “MTN”. We are pursuing our BRIGHT strategy with a major focus on growth in data, fintech and digital businesses. 

Visit us at www.mtn.com or www.mtn.co.za

Follow us on Twitter @MTNza


umlaut is a global, full-service, cross-industry, end-to-end company that offers advisory and fulfilment services to clients all over the world. In-depth domain expertise, broad practical knowledge and interdisciplinary collaboration allow them to add value, quality and focus to their clients’ organisations, services and products, in disruptive times in which industries are increasingly converging.

Within an able and agile collective of 20 consultancies and engineering firms spread across 50 locations all over the world, 4,300 specialised experts and engineers provide innovative solutions and transformations across all industries and their various intersections as well as serving the public sector and developing organisational cultures, structures and processes.

For more information please visit: umlaut.com

About the umlaut Mobile Benchmark

The independent methodology of umlaut is acknowledged as the de-facto industry standard assuring a fair, transparent and neutral evaluation of the networks under test. umlaut conducts mobile network benchmarks, audits and reviews in more than 160 countries and 200 Operators worldwide. They serve as a unique measure for management and supervisory boards to compare their networks with others, and for customers to make better decisions for their subscriptions.

About the umlaut crowdsourcing technology

The unique crowdsourcing technology allows umlaut to collect data about real-world customer experience in a truly passive way. For the collection of crowd data, umlaut has integrated a background diagnosis processes into 1000+ diverse Android apps. If one of these applications is installed on the end-user’s phone and the user agrees, data collection takes place 24/7, 365 days a year on this device. umlaut’s crowd-sourcing data set is the most realistic, since it is the most diverse that is currently available in the market – in terms of locations, geography, times, devices, subscriptions, networks, technologies and smartphone usage patterns. umlaut drives the advancement of digital network coverage and motivating operators to aspire to higher levels.

About the umlaut Drive Testing methodology

P3 measures smartphone voice and data performance based on extensive drive-tests – from major metropolitan areas to smaller cities, roads and railways.

Voice services are tested by assessing smartphone-to-smartphone calls, including background data traffic in parallel. This scenario is a typical example of modern customer-usage patterns and helps stretch network capability to its limits. The success of the call set-up and termination is evaluated as well as the voice quality over the bi-directional audio channel.

Data services are tested by browsing the most popular web pages, by transferring files, and by playing HD (1080p) YouTube videos (two videos on demand and one live stream), using YouTube’s adaptive bitrate feature to adapt the resolution to the available network conditions. File transfer performance is evaluated on access success rate, stability and the data-transfer rate. For the YouTube tests interruptions are also reported. Further, an OTT-application is used to assess the availability of social media downloading a personal Facebook feed and uploading a photo.