MTN expands it 5G network coverage in South Africa

South African telecom giant MTN Group announced on Thursday that it expanded its 5G network coverage, within northern provinces of the country in Polokwane and Witbank.

The company deployed 5G towers despite uncertainty regarding the allocation of new spectrum.

“MTN is making strides with its 5G technology rollout strategy,” said Kagiso Moncho, MTN general manager for the northern region.

“We have already activated 5G in greater Polokwane and Witbank and intend to expand the 5G coverage footprint further across the region, into areas such as Nelspruit and Middelburg. Added to this is that 93 percent of towers in the Northern Region have LTE,” Kagiso added.

“This is even more critical in the face of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, connectivity is essential for medical emergencies as well as for learners and individuals working from home,” he noted.

This step is part of the operator’s $24 million investment to modernize, upgrade, and build new sites in fiscal 2021 within the region.

“We want to bridge the digital divide and create exciting opportunities for communities, businesses, and individual users. Our investment is therefore far more than achieving market share growth in the region – it is about bringing the benefits of the digital world to more people through a stable, secure and innovative network experience,” Kagiso said.

While battery theft and vandalism remain a challenge, MTN has allocated part of the investment for battery replacement and security programs across the region.

Concerning this threat, the operator’s representative asked members of the community “to report any incidents of vandalism they may observe to the nearest South African Police Services (SAPS) offices.”

It’s worth mentioning that the telco spent $6.8 million earlier in 2019 dealing with acts of theft and vandalism, MTN SA’s executive for corporate affairs, Jacqui O’Sullivan was quoted as saying to Connecting Africa.