Cell C has introduced its own Long Term Evolution (LTE) service, and MyGaming has put it to the test to see what it can offer gamers, including coverage, download/upload speeds, and latency for gaming.
A number of speed tests, along with some download and gaming tests were done to test the service quality.
Cell C LTE Coverage
Cell C’s current LTE coverage extends over the Sandton (Johannesburg) , Pretoria, Durban, and Cape Town areas. We tested the service in the Sandton area of the coverage.
LTE download / upload speeds – local
When testing Cell C’s LTE service for download and upload speeds, two test results showed that the speeds remained within the 10Mbps range. Upload speeds were shown to be within the 2.3Mbps range with Speed Test, and 1.76Mbps from the MyBroadband Speedtest.
LTE download / upload speeds – international
The international speed tests for the Cell C LTE service showed download speeds in the 3Mbps range, and an uploads of around 2Mbps. MyBroadband tests showed a download speed of 5.66Mbps and an upload of 1.59Mbps.
Downloading a 1.1GB game demo (PES 2013), Cell C LTE managed speeds of up to 900 kB/s.
Downloading a large file (6GB) produced speeds of up to 816 kB/s
Cell C LTE latency
Some general ping tests to local and international servers showed great latency results, with roughly 34ms latency to MyBroadband.co.za, and roughly 220ms latency to a UK based website.
Cell C LTE for gaming
A number of ping tests were done to local gaming servers in order to check latency times.
Pings sent from Johannesburg to the Cape Town and Johannesburg Mweb CS:GO servers delivered pings of 79ms and 47ms respectively.
Pings sent from Johannesburg to the Cape Town and Johannesburg Mweb CS:GO servers delivered pings of 73ms and 62ms respectively.
Pings sent from Johannesburg to South African WAGE CS:GO servers gave results of around 64ms, while a ping to the local SGS Battlefield 3 server had a latency of and around 42ms.
Cell C LTE for gaming – conclusion
The signal strength did seem to fluctuate, even within the areas of dense signal coverage, but the general experience was favourable.
When playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive on local servers, connection and joining games was quick and responsive. While in the game, there was very low latency, despite the odd drop in signal, which saw me beginning to lag behind in certain situations and enduring some cheap deaths.
On an internationally hosted server (UK), connecting to a game was a little slower, with speeds fluctuating to lower levels and a fair amount of lag, to the point which it did hamper the gaming experience.
With the high prices of data aside, Cell C’s LTE option is a suitable alternative to an ADSL connection. Keep in mind Cell C is still in its testing phase of the LTE network, so coverage and signal strength did differ significant from area to area, and while gaming (on local servers) was smooth, there was occasional slowdown and lag still present.