JOHANNESBURG – Mobile operator MTN Group will launch its 5G commercial network in South Africa next week, joining Vodacom Group and Rain in the race to expand 5th Generation technology in the country.
The firm said on Wednesday it is hosting a virtual launch event on June 30, where MTN South Africa Chief Executive Godfrey Motsa will be present with other officials.
Last November, Swedish mobile telecoms equipment maker Ericsson announced that it had been selected by MTN South Africa to build its new 5G core mobile and radio network.
At that time Ericsson said 5G commercialisation was planned between 2020 and 2022, with a focus on use cases and applications relevant in the South African context.
Rival Vodacom launched its 5G network in May in three cities, with further rollouts planned in other parts of the country.
Rain launched the country’s first commercial 5G network in partnership with China’s Huawei Technologies in 2019.
Unlike the upgrades of cellular standards such as 2G in the early 1990s, 3G around the millennium and 4G in 2010, 5G standards will deliver not just faster phone and computer data but also help connect cars, machines, cargo and crop equipment.
Earlier this year, MTN was named the most valuable telecom brand in Africa in an annual report by Brand Finance.
The report stated that MTN’s brand value was boosted by a solid overall performance for the year, despite challenging economic conditions and regulatory challenges in some markets. – Reuters