by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – PAN Africa’s largest mobile networ operator – MTN is investing R2,2 billion (US$137,3 million) to maintain its network, extend reach into township areas as well as fight battery theft and vandalism in Gauteng province in 2022.
The mobile operator disclosed demand for data was rising as much as 45 percent in the province that is the economic hub and the most populous in South Africa.
In addition, half of all national 5G traffic is generated from the province.
“We are therefore making numerous strategic investments to enhance access, availability, modernisation and boost the rollout of solutions into rural areas,” said Keith Tukei, General Manager for Gauteng Operations at MTN-SA.
The investment in Gauteng is part of MTN’s countrywide Modernisation of Network South Africa (MONZA) project.
Some 68 percent has already been completed nationally through the exercise that will see 1 350 sites set to be finalised during the year, with around 200 key regions covered across South Africa.
In terms of 5G, MTN is expanding on its 555 5G sites in Gauteng and adding 20 5G sites in the Rustenburg and Brits areas in the North West.
“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 AI (artificial intelligence), the IoT (internet of things) and augmented reality grow,” Tukei said.
Consistent theft of batteries and vandalism at network towers remains a major threat.
MTN has set aside R30 million for Gauteng, to help limit the direct damage.
This will go towards adhoc repairs, general repairs, fibre repairs and vandalism.
“At MTN SA we are committed to improving access to digital opportunities for more South Africans by accelerating the delivery of reliable, superior network experiences,” Tukei concluded.
– CAJ News