Which is South Africa’s favourite mobile network?


Android smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg – Customers are most happy with Vodacom and least satisfied with MTN according to the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for Cellular Networks. 

The research done by managing consultancy, Consulta, concluded that MTN’s score declined from 75.8 to 74.2 points, a 1.6-point decline compared to 2016 and well below its 2015 level of 75.6, and was the lowest in the Index.  

With an overall SAcsi score of 79.2, Vodacom was 0.3 points ahead of its 2016 score of 78.9, and surpassed the 2017 industry average of 77.2. 

Telkom Mobile ranked second overall with a 3.9-point jump to 76.8, followed by Cell C, which scored 76.7 (up 1.6 points from 2016).

Now in its fifth year, the SAcsi for Cellular Networks offers insights into the South African mobile network industry by measuring customers’ overall satisfaction. 

This satisfaction score is based on brands exceeding or falling short of customer expectations and the respondents’ idea of the ideal product to achieve an overall result out of 100. 

The Index also includes, amongst other measures, a Customer Expectations Index, a Perceived Quality Index and a Perceived Value Index. The sample included 1 183 network subscribers in the pre-paid and contract markets, who were randomly selected to participate in the 2017 survey.

“MTN may have grown the biggest footprint across Africa and the Middle East, but it has struggled to provide good quality and customer service at home,” says Consulta CEO, Professor Adré Schreuder. 

“This has allowed value-focused brands such as Cell C [founded in 2001] and Telkom Mobile [initially launched as 8ta in 2010] to attract cost-conscious customers, while Vodacom has solidified its hold in the premium segment. 

“Telkom Mobile continues to make major inroads with its aggressive data offers,” says Schreuder. 

“While coverage might be an issue, the operator’s customers seem satisfied with its service in key areas. When customers travel outside these coverage areas, they roam on MTN’s network. This isn’t optimal, but the company has promised aggressive expansion of its LTE network.”

Telkom Mobile was the clear leader in the perceived value index, with a score of 81.1 (up from 78.7), outperforming the industry score of 76.7 (down from 77.2). Vodacom achieved the second best perceived value score of 77.8 (up from 77.0), followed by Cell C ‘s 77.7 points (down from 78.2).

And, not surprisingly, MTN saw the greatest fall in this measure, falling 2.4 points to 74.5 (down from 76.9 points).

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