13 Jun 2011

Vodacom 3G versus MWEB ADSL (speed and latency)

UPDATE: I have since upgraded my ADSL package to a 1Mbps line and speedtest.net latency is now closer to 20 ms...

My MWEB ADSL line is pretty trusty, but it has been offline at some inconvenient moments, so I signed up for the 2GB + 2GB 3G special from Vodacom.

I picked Vodacom specifically because I know that the Vodacom 3G coverage on my BlackBerry is particularly good in my area, the 2GB of night owl data is a nice value add and it just makes my billing simpler (being with Vodacom already).

I was expecting 3G to be much faster than my 384 Kbps ADSL connection, and it is by miles, so no surprise there. But, I was also expecting the latency on my ADSL line to be much lower than on the 3G and it’s not! Not that I’m complaining at all – I’m super impressed/happy that Vodacom 3G is so much faster than my ADSL connection and the latency is lower or matched at worst. It’s wireless and a completely suitable ADSL replacement (see the speed test results below).

Skype (with video) call quality is improved dramatically and it becomes a pleasure to watch YouTube videos on 3G instead of ADSL (more waiting than watching). I am not much of a gamer though, so I haven’t tested online gaming performance, but I would expect the 3G connection to beat the pants off my ADSL on this front too (based on the far superior Skype call quality on 3G).
Anyway, I’ve got to say a big thanks to Vodacom on this one – The R149 a month is a steal for this truly excellent connection - I am a very satisfied customer and no sweat if the Vodacom network ever goes down – I still have ADSL…

I should just add a disclaimer that 3G performance will vary, depending on your location and network coverage but Vodacom 3G really works great at my place!

MWEB ADSL speedtest.net results*
Vodacom 3G speedtest.net results*
MWEB ADSL MyBroadBand speed test results (international)*
Vodacom 3G MyBroadBand speed test results (international)*MWEB ADSL MyBroadBand speed test results (local / South Africa)*
Vodacom 3G MyBroadBand speed test results (local / South Africa)*

*Tests were repeated more than once and images were picked to show trends. Yes, I know this is not scientific, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the 3G really pumps!


Anonymous said...

Your speedtest.net is phenomenal for Vodacom 3G. I live in a regular suburb Lorraine in Port Elizabeth with wall to wall townhouses about 10km from a major mall (Walmer Park Mall). My speedtest for Vodacom 3G registers download = 0.21Mb/s Upload = 0.05Mbs Ludicrous. Are we living in the same country?

Rich said...

Yeah that's got to be quite tantalizing to know that it can be soo much faster! I guess it is one of the benefits of city living. What is the CellC coverage like in your area - you need to find the provider with the best 3G signal for your area! Otherwise wait until Vodacom covers your area better (if they do). Sorry.