South African cellco MTN SA has opened its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to pre-paid customers, after previously limiting 4G access to post-paid subscribers only, TechCentral reports. MTN SA chief marketing officer Larry Annetts was cited as saying: ‘The new MTN PayAsYouGo LTE SIM cards are available from any MTN-branded store and from participating retail outlets … To take advantage of this, customers need to ensure their handsets are LTE-capable and that they are in an LTE coverage area’. The new pre-paid SIM pack comprises of a standard, micro or nano SIM card, and costs ZAR1.50 (USD0.14) ; the operator markets four pre-paid LTE data bundles, including the base level ZAR299 bundle capped at 3GB of data, ZAR399 (5GB), ZAR599 (10GB) and ZAR1,199 (20GB), respectively.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTN LTE service went live on 1 December 2012 in Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria. In November the following year, MTN switched on its LTE network in Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province. Since then 4G coverage has been expanded to the following areas: Menlyn, Centurion, Pretoria East, Hatfield and Midrand (all Pretoria); Sandton, Rosebank, Fourways, Roodepoort, Fairlands, and OR Tambo International Airport (all Johannesburg); Westville, Pinetown, Kloof, Hillcrest, Tongaat, Queensburgh, Amanzimtoti King Shaka International Airport and Umhlanga (all Durban) and Bloemfontein. The carrier expects to extend LTE connectivity to other cities and peri-urban areas in due course.