Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

MTN Trials Next Gen Mobile Network

Article Image
Not wanting to watch the rest of the world take steps towards the next generation of mobile broadband technology and be left behind, MTN South Africa has been testing one of the pillars of advanced 4G and 5G networking with two of its key partners.

The operator has completed a field trial of 4x4 MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antenna technology on a live network with Huawei Technologies and mobile chip giant Qualcomm Technologies. The trio claim that average download throughput increased by 74% compared to "traditional" 4G/LTE 2x2 MIMO deployments and, as a result, MTN now plans to roll out South Africa's largest 4x4 MIMO network, and accompanying devices, in 2017 to provide its customers with "the best 4.5G experience."

Why? Because of mobile data traffic growth. The company has been running its 4G LTE network since 2012 alongside its 3G network and, in the six months to the end of June 2016, reported "strong data revenue growth, up 19.2%, contributing 34.1% to total revenue." As total revenues hit 19.84 billion South African Rand (US$1.52 billion) from a total of 29.8 million customers, mobile data accounted for ZAR6.77 billion ($519 million) in revenues during the first half of 2016.

With smartphone penetration rising and mobile data usage growing, and with strong competition in particular from market leader Vodacom (more than 35 million customers, of which about 10% are 4G users), MTN is seeking to gain competitive advantage and plan for the award of 2.6GHz spectrum, for which the licensing process has been delayed by the regulator.

And while 5G is a long way off for South Africa, gaining experience with technologies such as 4x4 MIMO can only help operators such as MTN as they plan their futures.

Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, International Group Editor, Light Reading

Innovation hub

Story

Five mobility startups to watch in 2024

Connecting Africa has compiled a list of five mobility startups that are making a difference in the communities they serve.

Story

Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuz program and the Orange Digital Center network.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.

Story

The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives

Story

How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.

Story

Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up
Tag id test-002