MTN enhances network resilience to alleviate loadshedding impact

Image of MTN South Africa CEO Charles Molapisi


28th November 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Telecommunications group MTN has achieved several milestones as it continues to spearhead its comprehensive modernisation project across a number of provinces to bolster network resilience against the impact of disruptions caused by loadshedding.

In Gauteng, where the group deployed 59 new fifth-generation (5G) sites, bringing the total to 965 across the region, network sites with resilience are currently achieving a daily network availability of between 95% and 98%.

Current resilience stands at a 99.91% completion rate, with expectations of achieving 100% network resilience rollout in Gauteng, said MTN South Africa CEO Charles Molapisi.

In the Western Cape, where 230 additional sites have been deployed in 2023, now totalling 429, sites with enhanced resilience are achieving 99.4% network availability.

The region is on track to reach an overall network resilience completion rate of 97% by the end of the year, while network sites with resilience in KwaZulu-Natal are achieving up to 98% network availability daily.

In KwaZulu-Natal, MTN has already modernised 245 sites, with plans to reach 317 by the end of 2023, along with the rollout of 28 new sites, he added.

“With a significant portion of Africa's population residing in rural areas, MTN is dedicated to expanding its network to underserved communities, aiming for 95% rural broadband coverage by 2025.”

Significant strides are being made in closing connectivity gaps across major provinces, with plans to accelerate digital programmes across all provinces in 2024, Molapisi continued.

MTN is deploying 14 rural sites this year across rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, including successful completed sites in rural Greytown, Tugela Ferry and Quachas Nek Border Post into Lesotho.

“MTN is employing cutting-edge technologies to address coverage challenges. The OpenRAN tech enables the development and installation of second-generation to 5G networks in previously unconnected areas, widening the ecosystem, lowering costs and accelerating innovation.”

Exceeding industry regulations set by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, MTN recorded an average call setup success ratio of 98.2% and a dropped call ratio of only 2.37%, according a network quality testing project undertaken by MyBroadband Insights in partnership with Analytico, Afristay and Keysight distributor Coral-i.

While MTN's resilience against loadshedding challenges, supported by significant investments in batteries and backup generators, further strengthens its network quality and reliability, community involvement is important in mitigating the effects of site vandalism.

“The battle against these criminals is far from over despite recent successes; vigilance must remain the watchword. Together with our broad network resilience and modernisation programmes, MTN continues to overcome current challenges, ensuring more South Africans can harness the power of the digital world," concluded Molapisi.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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