MTN has the best mobile data network in South Africa, translating into the operator topping the list of preferred LTE and 5G providers.
Research by Analytico showed that 31% of South Africans said they would pick MTN for a new LTE or 5G service.
Vodacom was a close second on 28%, followed by Telkom on 21%, Rain on 17%, and Cell C last on 3%.
Most respondents said they picked MTN because it provides good coverage and better performance than its competitors.
It showed that the positive media coverage and marketing around MTN’s network speed positively impacted its brand awareness.
Vodacom was picked for its network coverage and good performance. Many people said Vodacom offers the best coverage across South Africa, which is why it is their choice.
Brand strength among different skill levels
MTN is the preferred LTE and 5G network operator among tech-savvy consumers and people with basic technical knowledge.
However, MTN dropped to third place among people who know little about technology.
The main reason for MTN’s good showing among knowledgeable consumers is regular network reports which show its superior performance.
These reports seldom reach non-technical people. Vodacom and Telkom, therefore, outperformed MTN among non-technical people because of better consumer marketing strategies.
Cell C performed the worst in all market segments. Its marketing strategy and network quality failed to convince consumers that it offers a true alternative to Vodacom, MTN, or Telkom.
Rain performed much better, thanks to its aggressive pricing on uncapped 5G products and its growing footprint across South Africa.
Brand strength in different cities
MTN was the preferred LTE and 5G provider in Gauteng, Durban, and Port Elizabeth. In Cape Town, Vodacom topped the list.
Telkom achieved the best performance in smaller cities like Durban and Port Elizabeth but struggled to achieve the same levels in Gauteng and Cape Town.
Rain achieved its best results in Gauteng. The strong showing in Gauteng is linked to the fact that it launched its first wireless broadband services in the province.
Rain launched its first commercial 5G products in selected areas in Johannesburg and Pretoria in September 2019.
It took another ten months before Rain 5G arrived in Cape Town and another year before it arrived in Port Elizabeth.
Rain only launched 5G in parts of Durban in March 2022. Brand awareness around Rain in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth closely follows the company’s 5G rollouts.