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.

Connectivity

MTN SA to spend US$137M to connect underserved

Article Image
One of South Africa's biggest telecom operators, MTN SA, is investing R2.2 billion (US$137 million) in network modernization within the Gauteng province, with a focus on extending its reach in low-income areas.

MTN said rising data demand in the country had prompted the investment, which is aimed at boosting participation in the digital economy, especially of people living in underdeveloped township areas.

R30 million (US$1.9 million) has been set aside to help limit the growing problem of infrastructure vandalism and the mobile operator will deploy close to 700 active 5G sites in the region.

"Our investment will continue to drive the rollout of 5G to enable seamless, fast and cutting-edge experience online. We expect to see Gauteng continuing to lead the drive for 5G and other business-focused innovations, such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and augmented reality," Keith Tukei, GM for Gauteng operations at MTN SA, said in a statement.

According to MTN SA's latest trading update, the operator recorded a healthy performance in the first quarter of 2022, with service revenue increasing by 4.6% and mobile data revenue jumping 14.3% year-on-year. The investment in low-income communities is in line with the company’s 7% increase in prepaid subscribers in SA to almost 27 million.

"Gauteng remains SA's economic hub, with half of all national 5G traffic generated from the province. MTN also saw a 45% increase year-on-year in data volume growth in February. We are therefore making numerous strategic investments to enhance access, availability, modernisation and boost the rollout solutions into rural areas," Tukei added.

The investment shows that MTN SA is using its gains from a recent spectrum auction to expand 4G and 5G connectivity in South Africa while also further enhancing rural, peri-urban, and urban network coverage.

The telco's investment comes on the back of a call by the South African government for big business to help formalize businesses in lower-income areas. The Gauteng Legislature has passed a Township Economic Development Bill which is aimed at helping empower townships and disadvantaged communities in the province economically.

The call by the South African government has also seen other companies like fiber provider Vumatel launch prepaid fiber products in South Africa's townships. The company also recently bought a 45% stake in local Internet service provider (ISP) Herotel, which focuses on connectivity in smaller towns and cities.

Related posts:

*Top image source: pelegraphy on Pixabay.

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Moya super app takes aim at SA fintech market

Super app Moya's fintech platform, MoyaPay, aims to be South Africa's most widely used mobile money payments platform.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Kenya's Shamba Pride

This month's hot startup, Shamba Pride, wants to revolutionize the rural agricultural trade ecosystem in Kenya by transforming agro-dealers into franchised 'DigiShops.'

More Innovation hub

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

Story

Omdia View: March 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia summary of the biggest stories in the Middle East and Africa focuses on SA's spectrum auction and new submarine cables landing in Kenya and Togo.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Latest video

More videos

Archived webinars

Boosting Customer Experience in the Digital Age

From the first interaction to the last payment: convert leads into clients, drive loyalty and grow your bottom line.

The digital age has ushered in a new era of customer engagement. Consumer demands and expectations are higher than ever – where an affordable but seamless online experience is now the norm.

At a time when competition for your customers is fierce, ensuring a client journey that is tailored to their needs has never been more important. The ability to build these bespoke offerings starts with understanding, and that understanding is built on data.

This webinar will explore how gathering insight is key to growing and retaining a strong customer base; we’ll unpack how CRM platforms, mobile payment, lead capture, and online marketing are key factors in building a successful 21st Century digital business.

  • Customer Experience – understanding consumer expectations of today
  • What easy steps can you take to provide a complete, immersive digital customer experience?
  • How to leverage modern digital tools to build customer loyalty

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up