MTN’s South African unit to launch LTE, report says

13 Aug 2012

MTN South Africa may be looking to launch 4G wireless services based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology before the end of 2012, according to an unconfirmed report from news site PANA. It is understood the wireless operator is exploring the viability of switching on the 4G network this year, to which end it has reportedly identified three main cities for the initial rollout, the news journal quotes MTN chief technology officer Kanagaratnam Lambotharan as saying. The official goes on to say: ‘Approximately 200 LTE test sites are currently live and the pilot is running on 10MHz of re-farmed 1800MHz spectrum with speeds of 70Mbps and a latency of under 15 milliseconds. The speed is almost twice as fast as any currently available on the market.’ The pilot network is currently operating in a number of areas including parts of Sandton, Fourways, Centurion, Oliver R Tambo International Airport and in the environs of MTN’s head office in Roodeport. The cellco intends to expand its trials depending on how matters progress with its refarming efforts.

South Africa, MTN South Africa