Mobile network operator MTN has expanded the rollout of its LTE coverage to Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa.
According to a statement from MTN, the rollout is in line with its focus of optimising network quality in major cities across the country.
“I am thrilled at the rate at which we have expanded our LTE coverage,” says Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Information and Technology officer at MTN SA, who adds, “At the heart of our network rollout strategy is a commitment to provide networks that cater to the digital boom and voice demands of our customers.”
The company says the increased LTE coverage in the mining town of Rustenburg was achieved through re-farming of existing spectrum. “This LTE activation followed significant new site densification in Rustenburg in 2017 as well as deployment of UMTS900 to improve indoor 3G coverage.
“The UMTS900 band would supplement the new sites and assist in offering better indoor penetration characteristics. This overall program in Rustenburg is a continuation of MTN’s network strategy.”
With its investment, MTN says customers can look forward to significantly better indoor data coverage. “We are emboldened by the progress we have made in Rustenburg, and hope that we will continue to replicate this remarkable feat across our network footprint,” says Chiarelli.
“These plans are aimed at ensuring that we attain our strategic objective,” he concludes.
MTN has made a few other network investments recently, including a US$55 million investment to extended its networks in Zambia, also contributing to an 80% fibre infrastructure lay down in the country.
The country’s telecom market is dominated by MTN Zambia which has close to 6 million subscribers, close to 50% of the country’s telecom market share followed by Airtel Zambia while Zamtel is the smallest operator with only 2 million customers.
The company, together with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, also recently completed a successful demonstration of end-to-end Cat-M1 capabilities, where MTN supported its ambitions in Internet of Things (IoT).
The company said it will continue trialling devices and applications for Cat-M1 in its Test Bed lab.
In Ghana, the government has recently rejected calls for 4G license price slashing, where MTN is the only operator to have secured the license to 4G spectrum, at a cost of US$67.5 million – a bid that no other operator could match.