Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 43 | Page 65

INDUSTRY WATCH FROM MTN’S BIRTHPLACE OF SOUTH AFRICA, WE ARE STEPPING UP OUR DIGITAL REVOLUTION WITH THE NEXT GENERATION OF TELECOMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY, DEMONSTRATING TO ALL SOUTH AFRICANS THAT 5G IS NO LONGER JUST AN IDEA. Mobile operator, MTN Group, has launched its 5G commercial network in South Africa, joining rivals Vodacom Group and Rain in the race to expand fifth generation technology in the country. MTN’s launch will see the telco rollout its next generation 5G network which is delivering higher peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, increased reliability and greater network capacity. Launched at 100 sites, MTN South Africa’s 5G network covers areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. Godfrey Motsa, CEO, MTN South Africa, said: “From MTN’s birthplace of South Africa, we are stepping up our digital revolution with the next generation of telecommunication technology, demonstrating to all South Africans that 5G is no longer just an idea – it is here, it works and it has the capacity to bring about exponential improvements to our economy, and to the lives of the people we serve.” MTN South Africa’s 5G introduction comes on the back of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA) allocation of temporary spectrum and is also the culmination of extensive commercial trials and testing. Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Technology and Information Officer, MTN SA, said for the past two years the company has been actively innovating around the potential of 5G, using different bands and various vendors and across different platforms and devices, to ensure MTN South Africa can maintain leadership in 5G, as it has been able to maintain its leadership in 4G. “Our 5G strategy has been years in the making and we are confident that we have built a strong foundation to grow and support our 5G ecosystem to deliver an exceptional experience for our customers,” Chiarelli added. One of the key innovations driving the broad rollout by MTN has been a strategic approach to Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), as these deployments overcome the challenges of lack of dedicated 5G spectrum. MTN will deliver 5G connectivity on four different spectral bands: • 3.5 GHz at 58 sites: This is the ideal spectrum band for 5G, known as the “Golden Band” which offers a truly world-class 5G experience with both INTELLIGENTCIO 65