by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – AS the scourge of load shedding continues, South African networks see the worst 4G signal strength at night.
However, during that period of the day, 4G download speeds are fastest.
This is according to Opensignal, which analysed how energy usage changes on South African networks throughout the day.
It established that operators use less spectrum and carrier bands at night, while the 4G signal strength is also at its weakest.
To explore the impact of energy management on the quality of mobile network experience further, the analysis looked at the average values of 4G Reference Signal Received Power (4G RSRP) — which reflects 4G signal strength — and 4G Reference Signal Received Quality (4G RSRQ),
This is the measure of the 4G signal quality and is affected by network congestion.
Opensignal observed much lower bandwidths used at night, between midnight and 06h00, than at other times of the day.
At night, users on Cell C, MTN, and Vodacom’s networks see 18,7 percent, 14,9 percent and 13 percent less spectrum bandwidth connected to their devices than in the mornings, between 06h00 and 12h00.
Meanwhile, Telkom users see no statistically significant difference in the amount of bandwidth used for 4G connectivity throughout the whole day.
Users on MTN and Vodacom’s networks observe the fastest average 4G speeds between midnight and 06h00.
MTN and Vodacom’s speeds gradually slow over the day, dropping to the lowest levels in the evenings, between 06h00. and midnight. Cell C and Telkom users also experience the lowest average 4G download speeds in the evenings. Noteworthy, Cell C users observe no statistically significant differences in average 4G download speeds between night, morning and afternoon.
Opensignal reports that all South African operators have the best values of 4G RSRQ at night, indicating the lowest level of radio network congestion.
“During the day, 4G signal quality deteriorates which indicates increased interference potentially caused by higher data traffic.”
The analysis focused on 4G metrics as only MTN and Vodacom have launched commercial mobile 5G services in South Africa.
– CAJ News