MTN will have 90% 4G coverage before the end of 2018

MTN South Africa CTIO Giovanni Chiarelli has promised that MTN will have 90% 4G population coverage before the end of 2018.

Speaking at the 2018 MyBroadband Conference, Chiarelli said MTN is currently at 88% 4G coverage in the country.

The high population coverage comes after Chiarelli joined MTN just two years ago, where he was given the task to “fix the network”.

After years of work and billions of rand invested into its network, he said MTN is well on track to challenge as the best network in South Africa.

MTN is also aiming to have 3G deployed at every site it operates in the country before the end of year. MTN is currently close to 100% 3G population coverage, he added.

In terms of “non-cellular” solutions, Chiarelli said MTN offers businesses and SMEs multiple connectivity options to keep them connected.

Fibre is a top choice for companies, while smaller SMEs that cannot afford fibre can opt for point-to-point microwave technology.

At the moment, this microwave option covers 60% of businesses in South Africa.


An issue which still plagues MTN, and all mobile operators in the country, is the lack of available spectrum.

The only countries worse than South Africa where MTN operates are Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Yemen.

Countries which far exceed SA in terms of spectrum availability include Syria, Ghana, Sudan, Zambia, Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda.


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MTN will have 90% 4G coverage before the end of 2018