by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – MTN South Africa is reaping the rewards of its R50 billion (US$3,29 billion) investment to enhance its network over the past five years.
The mobile operator has massively invested in fifth generation of cellular networks (5G) and Long Term Evolution (LTE of 4G) during the period.
“It is for this reason that we have invested R50 billion over the last five years to expand 3G and LTE network footprint across the country. And we recently launched a 5G network in selected towns across South Africa,” said MTN SA Corporate Affairs Executive, Jacqui O’Sullivan.
She was responding to questions from CAJ News Africa.
Recently, MTN SA was adjudged the Best Mobile Network the third successive quarter of this year.
“MTN is reaping the benefits of this capital expenditure in its network. It is for this reason that MTN scooped the coveted P3 Best-in-Test Award and MyBroadband’s Best Mobile Network Award,” O’Sullivan exclusively told CAJ News Africa.
The company is eagerly anticipating the auction licensing process early next year, as outlined by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
“The spectrum auction in March 2021 will enable MTN to further its 5G deployment plans,” O’Sullivan said.
MTN achieved 11 000th LTE sites milestone in 2018.
Most of these sites are located in rural areas and townships.
“Our LTE coverage is now covering 97 percent of South Africa. This tells you our commitment to all South Africans,” O’Sullivan said.
The mobile company launched its 5G network in South Africa in June this year.
The launch included 100 sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Edward.
“Our current focus is to ensure that more South Africans benefit from this technology,” O’Sullivan said.
The executive said her company must adapt to the rapid evolution of the telecommunications industry.
“Telcos are no longer just mobile network providers, they have broadened their scope to offer 360 consumer services such as fintech, insurance services, app services,” O’Sullivan pointed out.
“In recent years terminologies such as The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G technology have been a buzz in the telecommunication industry,” she said.
“These technologies are expected to disrupt how we live, how we do things and how we communicate using technology,” O’Sullivan added.
She said mobile network operators would play a crucial role in providing the infrastructure ecosystem that would enable industries to harness the full benefits of digitisation.
“In this increasingly connected world, the focus should not be on trying to become another Facebook or Google, but rather supporting the digital pathways clients adopt,” the official said.
“Harnessing modern technologies will definitely improve how companies interact with customers and stable, fast and secure networks will be the key enablers of these digital highways of the future.”
MTN’s achievements are premised on its BRIGHT strategy.
It is an acronym for Best customer experience, Returns and efficiency focus, Ignite commercial performance, Growth through data and digital and Hearts and minds.
In its quarterly update for the period ended September 2020, MTN announced that total subscribers in South Africa increased by 1,9 million, to 30,9 million.
A majority of additions were prepaid customers, reaching a total of 24,3 million.
This makes it the largest quarterly increase in almost 18 months.
– CAJ News