Digital boost for South Africa’s most densely populated province

MTN South Africa says it will ramp up its investment in Gauteng to meet increasing demand, while the group will also extend its reach into township areas.

The fight against battery theft and vandalism remains a key priority in 2022, the group said in a statement on Wednesday (11 May), adding that its investment budget for Gauteng in 2022 amounts to R2.2 billion.

“Gauteng remains SA’s economic hub, with half of all national 5G traffic generated from the province. MTN also saw a 45% increase year-on-year in data volume growth in February,” said Keith Tukei, general manager for Gauteng Operations at MTN SA. “We are therefore making numerous strategic investments to enhance access, availability, modernisation and boost the rollout of solutions into rural areas.”

MTN’s countrywide Modernisation of Network South Africa (MONZA) project – 68% of which has already been completed nationally, will see 1,350 sites set to be finalised during the year, with around 200 key regions covered across the country.

MTN said it will also expand on its 555 5G sites in Gauteng and will add 20 5G sites in the Rustenburg and Brits areas in the North West.

“Our investment will continue to drive the rollout of 5G to enable seamless, fast and cutting-edge experience online. We expect to see Gauteng continuing to lead the drive for 5G and other business-focused innovations such as AI, the IoT and augmented reality grow,” said Tukei.

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The intention of the investment is to increase network coverage, improve throughputs and customer experience in the region. However, consistent theft of batteries and vandalism at network towers remains a major threat to all networks across SA, and Gauteng is no exception, the operator said.

“This is a serious issue that denies so many people and businesses access to connectivity, for work and entertainment, or just to stay in touch with loved ones. When connectivity is needed for emergency situations, this becomes even more worrisome,” said Tukei.

MTN has set aside R30 million for Gauteng, to help limit the direct damage, and this will go towards adhoc repairs, general repairs, fibre repairs and vandalism.

Read: MTN boss says profit pool not big enough for all telecoms players

Artmotion S.Africa

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