Giovanni Chiarelli, chief technology and information officer at MTN South Africa, has revealed that his company has no immediate plans to deploy voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, TechCentral reports. The executive said: ‘The customer experience is not that good. Once we have the 800MHz layer, it can be deployed. The core network is ready – we have tested and it is working – but, again, if we consider customer experience as the main driver, we said let’s pause it until we have all the right conditions.’
TeleGeography notes that the 800MHz ‘digital dividend spectrum’ was scheduled to be freed up following South Africa’s switchover from analogue to digital television (which commenced in October 2016). While telecoms regulator ICASA launched an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for frequencies in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 2600MHz bands in July 2016, the watchdog was subsequently ordered by the North Gauteng High Court to halt the process in October, as the government claimed that the auction would prevent the entry of new players in the wireless broadband sector. The tender is now expected to take place sometime in 2017.