MTN South Africa has announced a ramping up of investments to modernise existing and deploy new network infrastructure across Limpopo and Mpumalanga, South Africa. The company says ultra-rural villages such as Mtititi and Ga Marishane will see benefits from the investment.
The $56.4-million investment will go toward MTN’s “Modernisation of Network South Africa project” (MONZA) as well as expanded rural reach, 5G expansion and restoration of vandalised network infrastructure, the telco says.
“Our aim is to significantly enhance access and open the door to new digital opportunities for many more people across the province. Our investment is specifically targeted at increasing network coverage, improving throughputs, and connecting the previously unconnected,” says Kagiso Moncho, GM: Northern Region from MTN South Africa.
The MONZA rollout in the two provinces will include improvement and modernisation of 230 sites, and 76 new site builds to add to the existing 1,850. The extension of MTN’s 5G connectivity includes rolling out 58 new sites in 2022 to add to the existing 53.
Another major highlight of the expansion drive will be rural connectivity to help close the digital access gaps in South Africa. According to the GSM Associations 2021 Mobile Economy report: Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 700 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa remain offline and at risk of exclusion from the emerging digital economy.
“We have extensive plans to drive growth and connectivity solutions into under-serviced areas, including Mtititi and Ga Marishane village in Jan Furse. With unemployment in South Africa reaching new peaks, it is critical to focus on harnessing digital solutions to drive the recovery, especially in those areas that were hardest hit,” Moncho adds.
“An important point is that the pandemic has underscored the value of mobile networks, which remain the only form of internet access for many. MTN’s investments are directly targeted at accelerating the recovery and significantly enhancing growth and job opportunities,” says Moncho.
One stumbling block to growth remains the activity of criminals and syndicates. Due to high incidences of vandalism and battery theft MTN says it has partnered with South African Bidvest Security and set aside an additional $7-million in 2022 to combat this criminality.
“Ensuring users receive quality and network stability is our number one aim, but the fight against battery theft and vandalism remains a major hindrance. I am pleased that our ongoing efforts to make a dent in these criminal acts are seeing change, but all South Africans are requested to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity,” says Moncho.
“We have big targets this year in Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Every completed project, or success achieved against battery theft, ensures our clients can take that one step forward and benefit from the magic of the modern, connected world,” concludes Moncho.