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South Africa's Top Five Mobile Networks

December 14, 2022
South Africa's most well-known mobile networks are Cell C, MTN, Telkom, Vodacom, and Rain. They have the largest number of subscribers, have the widest reach, and offer some of the best deals. If it's your first time in South Africa, whether you're just visiting or relocating here, then these are the networks you need to know. You'll have an easier time staying in the country if you get a SIM card from any of these popular companies. But why are they famous? What makes them the biggest mobile networks in South Africa? Well, here's what to know about them.

South Africa's Top Five Mobile Networks


Truth be told, Vodacom is the top mobile network in South Africa. In terms of app use, none of the other telecommunications companies comes close! From video speed to game experience, Vodacom offers the best data for your programs. And this is important for when you're contacting others too. The network's excellent video speed allows you to Facetime, Zoom, or video call on other messenger apps with clarity and high-quality sound. So if you're a businessman who has to go on a Zoom meeting with your co-workers through your phone, a Vodacom SIM card is your best bet to making that happen with little to no problems.


What Telkom has over Vodacom, on the other hand, is 5G and 4G availability. Despite the fact that, according to Reuters, Telkom is among the latest ones to offer 5G mobile data in South Africa, their coverage trumps the others by a small margin. No matter where you are, be it the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg or the natural wonders in Cape Town, you can access 5G and 4G mobile data with a Telkom SIM card. Of course, this also means that your internet will be strong and fast, allowing for maximum app usage with very few consequences.


Let's say you often have to use your phone for your work in South Africa. You have files to send and get from your co-workers and at times, there's no telling when you need them. In this situation, shouldn't you join a mobile network that offers the best download and upload speed? Fortunately, MTN is just that! Although Vodacom and Telkom have one-upped MTN in various fields in the telecommunications game, this network solely owns the download and upload speed. You can upload a file to your company's database through your phone in a snap! What's not to love?

South Africa's Top Five Mobile Networks

Cell C

Admittedly, Cell C has a lot of catching up to do. Compared to Vodacom, Tekon, and MTN, this company is barely in competition. But that's not necessarily a bad thing! What Cell C may lack in video quality and download speed, it makes up for in affordable prices and great deals. From its all-in-one starter pack to day-by-day bundles, you get a bang for your buck when you join this mobile network. And this is great for those who've just come to South Africa with very little money to spare.


As a telecommunications company, Rain isn't on the same level as all the other networks on this list. Or at least, not yet. Over the years, Rain has constantly proven that it can go head-to-head with the big players. They offer 5G data like Telkom, boast high-quality app usage like Vodacom, and compare well to the download & upload speed of MTN. Cell C beats the network with its more competitive prices though, but that's not that big of a loss. What makes Rain below all the others, at least for now, is that its reach isn't as wide yet.

South Africa's Top Five Mobile Networks

You can only get the right SIM card for you if you choose from among South Africa's best mobile networks. They offer the finest deals, lots of data, and a boatload of other benefits that will ensure that you stay connected with everyone no matter where you are.

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