MTN South Africa has had a great year, delivering improved network performance and reaching the 90% 4G population coverage milestone.
The performance of the mobile network also continued to improve throughout the year, showing an improvement in both bandwidth and latency as the year progressed.
The company stressed the importance of capital expenditure in enhancing its mobile network and enabling the development of new services in 2018, which has allowed it to greatly expand its network coverage over the last four years while providing greater mobile data speeds.
MTN said it has invested R43.6 billion over the last four years to expand its 3G and LTE network footprint across the country, culminating in the launch of its 11,000th LTE site which brought its 4G population coverage up to 90%.
MTN’s LTE coverage has accelerated from 0-90% in just five years, which is exponentially faster than the 3G network rollout which took 10 years to cover 90% of the population.
“MTN is reaping the benefits of this capital expenditure in its network,” it said.
“It is for this reason that MTN scooped the coveted MyBroadband Mobile Broadband Provider of the Year Award and shared the Best Mobile Network Award with Vodacom.”
At the beginning of 2018, MTN conducted the first 5G technology and applications trial in Africa in partnership with Ericsson, and has continued to trial the technology for future applications.
The initial trial managed to record speeds of more than 20Gbps, which is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa.
Following this 5G trial, MTN successfully conducted the first successful 5G outdoor trial in partnership with Huawei, and then partnered with Ericsson in June and used the 5G network to autonomously drive a vehicle.
IoT products and mobile bundles
MTN also told MyBroadband that its business unit has made great strides in providing IoT solutions to clients.
“MTN Business has been at the forefront of providing innovative solutions to assist its enterprise clients to meet their strategic objectives,” MTN said.
“This year MTN piloted a solution called Connected Wildlife & Livestock which gives livestock and wildlife farmers the ability to monitor their herds in real time, combat stock theft and manage their assets from the palm of their hands.”
MTN’s mobile broadband products also saw some major changes this year, with the introduction of fixed-LTE Made for Home bundles.
The mobile operator also introduced voice over LTE services on its network which provide a faster network connection and high-definition calls.
MTN added that the introduction of its Entertainment Pass bundles have been a success with customers, offering access to WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and more.
MTN was also voted as the best mobile data provider in the MyBroadband Q3 Survey, with users citing the network’s excellent quality as a driving factor towards customer satisfaction.
“As MTN continues to build world-class networks and develop cutting-edge solutions for its customers, the company is also mindful of the importance of making a positive difference in the communities it operates in,” the company told MyBroadband.
“To that end, MTN Group has pledged to create 1,000 jobs in support of the YES (Youth Employment Service) campaign.”
In addition to this, MTN also continued to partner with stakeholders to roll out multimedia centres to schools, institutions, and nursing colleges across South Africa.
In 2018, the MTN SA Foundation spent R54 million on community projects and deployed 19 multimedia centres across South African schools.