The next generation of mobile connectivity has already hit South Africa, with both Vodacom and Rain having compelling 5G offers to customers. MTN is arguably behind the curve here, even though they’ve launched new Social Bundles including 10GB of data for R120, but they are ready to launch the MTN 5G network next week.
South Africa will be the first market where the MTN 5G network is launched, during a live event on YouTube on June 30th. Hosts of the even include CEO Godfrey Motsa, CCO Mapula Bodibe and CTIO Giovanni Chiarelli.
You’ll be able to watch the event down below:
According to Business Insider, it is unclear where the network will be launched. The first networks will be in Gauteng, but beyond that is still an unknown. Vodacom’s 5G is currently available in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.
We were expecting the MTN network to launch sooner, but they encountered “delays in bringing some equipment into the country.” They have also confirmed that it will be using emergency spectrum allocated by the government to provide 5G services, as Vodacom is. This spectrum was allocated to help telco’s cope with the increased demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MTN will also be making the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra available for 5G on its new network. Other than that the Hauwei P40 and LG V60 ThinQ will also be capable of running at full speed on the network.
The network is built on infrastructure built by the Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson, after the deal was signed in late 2019.
How the different mobile operators expand their 5G coverage over the next 12-18 months will be pivotal. Whomever can garner a wider coverage range, and perhaps more importantly sell more 5G smartphone contracts, will have a big advantage as we enter the fifth generation of mobile connectivity.