MTN to Double its South African Base Stations
MTN South Africa is planning to double its 3G base stations in South Africa and increase the reach to at least 80% of the population in the next few years, and also significantly increase its UMTS 900 and HSPA footprint.
The announcement was made by MTN's CTO, Kanagaratnam Lambotharan at the 2011 AfricaCom conference.
Kanagaratnam said MTN network deployment is driven by insight on customer experience, device preference, and location of call drops. This enables MTN to identify and earmark high data usage areas in order to provide added capacity and to ascertain nodes where voice or data capacity requires increasing.
Kanagaratnam said MTN has seen a significant spike in data traffic on its network after it increased the rollout of its UMTS 900 infrastructure. UMTS data, Kanagaratnam said, has doubled in growth compared to GSM data in the last year. UMTS data has almost doubled in a year's time.
Kanagaratnam explained that MTN's broadband vision is underpinned by the vision to provide world class internet everywhere you go.
"MTN focus is underlined by improving customer data experience, coupled with aggressive rollout of broadband connectivity and accelerating a "Connected South Africa" and all its associated benefits everywhere you go."
Serame Taukobong, MTN South Africa's Chief Marketing Officer, said joint partnerships between operators and key private and public stakeholders are critical to ensure that Africa meets the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG).
"Critical engagement across the entire ecosystem is pivotal to ensure that we collectively and optimally use mobile telephony to tackle and address the challenges facing the continent."
Taukobong added that these partnerships should be used to tailor solutions that address local needs. "There is a need for African based applications that are relevant to Africans. Mindful of this need to customise applications, MTN Group announced the first ever apps development competition to tap into the vast and diverse pool of talent - what can emanate from this competition is a rich tapestry of apps that will be both relevant and enrich the lives of our customers," said Taukobong.