South African operator MTN has launched its 5G network in the country, with the initial deployment of 100 5G sites.
The network is currently covering Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.
MTN has been doing 5G trials before the rolling out after the South African Government decided to award temporary spectrum for 5G.
The Chief Technology and Information Officer of MTN, Giovanni Chiarelli, said, “For the past two years we have been actively innovating around the potential of 5G, using different bands and various vendors and across different platforms and devices, to ensure MTN South Africa can maintain leadership in 5G, as we have been able to maintain our leadership in 4G. Our 5G strategy has been years in the making and we are confident that we have built a strong foundation to grow and support our 5G ecosystem to deliver an exceptional experience for our customers.”
MTN stated that the new network will develop the full capabilities of next generation services such as virtual and augmented reality, ultra-high definition video streaming, artificial intelligence, robotics, automated cars, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
MTN stated that they will extend their 5G network once the government assigns permanent spectrum through the planned auction later this year.
The CEO of MTN SA, Godfrey Motsa, expressed, “We are extremely encouraged by the release of the temporary spectrum. Our call to the regulator and government is to release permanent 4G and 5G spectrum as a matter of urgency, so that we can fuel the digital revolution our nation needs to bridge the digital divide that currently deepens the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.”