MTN South Africa this week launched the first 100 5G high sites offering commercial 5G mobile broadband. TechCentral put the network through its paces on Thursday — and achieved significant speeds at all locations visited, all well above 300Mbit/s and one close to 800Mbit/s.
To get an idea of the performance of the network, we drove to various places in Johannesburg’s north-western suburbs where MTN said it has 5G coverage, including Northwold, Boskruin, Honeydew and Sundowner. (MTN also has coverage in the Bryanston and Fourways areas in Johannesburg, but we confined our testing to the north-western areas.)
TechCentral used a 5G-capable Huawei P40 Pro, supplied by MTN, to do the speed tests (we had to enable “NR”, or “New Radio”, in the mobile network settings before we could get a 5G carrier).
We then used Ookla’s Speedtest application for Android (it’s available in the Huawei AppGallery). Ookla’s Speedtest software is the gold standard for testing Internet speeds, both mobile and fixed.
All tests were conducted inside a stationary vehicle and the Ookla software was left to determine the best server to connect to.
We achieved our best download speed outside the Northwold Spar on Elnita Avenue in Randburg – 789Mbit/s – followed closely by a test at the Shell filling station on Taurus Avenue in Sundowner (783Mbit/s). We also achieved our best upload speed in Sundowner: 117Mbit/s. See our test results in the screenshots below.
Latency, or network round-trip times, was also very good, and akin to what one normally sees on fixed fibre broadband connections. Ping times were always less than 10ms in our testing.
Duncan McLeod is Editor of TechCentral
This article was first published on TechCentral here