MTN South Africa has reiterated its intention extend its 5G deployment in South Africa to more regions as MTN Ghana suspends an earlier promise to pilot 5G in Ghana this year.
MTN Ghana CEO, Selorm Adadevoh last year hinted that the company was gearing up to pilot 5G in Ghana this year. He also announced last year that the company had actually installed some infrastructure in readiness for the 5G deployment this year.
But at a virtual Stakeholder and Media Forum this year, the CEO said the planned 5G piloting is not possible this year because he is not the industry is ready to rollout 5G licenses this year.
This time round, he stopped short of giving a new date for the piloting, saying “since I have promised once and failed, I do not want to make another promise until we are absolutely sure.”
Selorm Adadevoh however stated that for Ghanaians to experience the full benefit of MTN’s promise of a digital lifestyle under the Ambition 2025 strategy, there would be the need for 5G deployment soon, because even though they have covered over 90% of the country with 4G, that will still not quite cut it.
Indeed, a freshly published article on “the evolution of MTN connectivity platform”, contained in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, categorically stated that “5G networks will play an essential role in delivering on the technology pillars to realize MTN’s Ambition 2025 plan,” which was exactly the point Selorm Adadevoh.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, where MTN is headquartered, it is expanding 5G coverage to cover at least 25% of the population by the end of this year and has provided more details about where it plans to deploy 5G sites.
In March, soon after the conclusion of the South Africa communications regulator’s spectrum auction in which MTN secured 100MHz of additional bandwidth, the company’s CEO, Charles Molapisi, said it was aiming to reach 25% population coverage by December 2022 and 60% by 2025.
Now the company has set out its aggressive 5G roll-out plans, revealing that its active 5G sites have already expanded to a thousand and the focus now is on the main metros, peri-urban areas and larger townships.
The company said:
- It has 555 active 5G sites in Gauteng;
- A further 20 sites will be launched in Rustenburg and Brits in North West “shortly”;
- There will be 179 5G sites in the Western Cape by year-end;
- Investment in the Free State and the Northern Cape will be ramped up, with 21 additional 5G sites to be added in the two provinces, building on the 45 it has in the Free State and the 21 it has deployed in the Northern Cape;
- In Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, about 100 5G sites are live in each province, with “more planned”.
Current 5G sites that MTN has deployed across South Africa include:
- City of Johannesburg
- City of Cape Town
- City of Tshwane
- Nelson Mandela Bay
- Buffalo City
- City of Mbombela
- King Sabata Dalindyebo
- City of Matlosana
- Mogale City
- Ray Nkonyeni
- Govan Mbeki
- Steve Tshwete
- JB Marks
- Sol Plaatje
- Enoch Mgijima