MTN uses equipment from multiple manufacturers in its mobile network, namely ZTE, Ericsson, and Huawei.
The mobile operator has been growing its network infrastructure rapidly in recent years, recently raising its 4G population coverage in South Africa to above 80%.
MTN’s live trial with Huawei made use of Huawei’s new outdoor 5G terminal, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2018 and aims to provide fixed-wireless access to businesses and homes.
Huawei equipment comprises a major share of MTN’s network infrastructure in South Africa, said the company.
During the live outdoor 5G trial, the mobile operator told MyBroadband that Huawei hardware makes up around 50% of its total network infrastructure.
The statement from the operator follows MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter commenting on the ZTE trade ban by US officials.
ZTE has been banned from purchasing American technology for seven years by the US government.
It comes after the Chinese company violated sanctions by paying full bonuses to employees who shipped telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea.
MTN said it uses ZTE products mainly as radio equipment on certain base stations.
“Following the recent denial order issued by the US Department of Commerce, we are assessing both the impact and contingency planning given our exposure to ZTE in our networks,” said Shuter.
“Currently, we are fully focused on monitoring and managing the situation to ensure that our customers continue to experience the best service.”