MTN Group, a leading emerging market operator with more than 240 million customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, has announced the successful deployment of more than 200 commercial rural sites across its footprint, using OpenRAN technology which enables operators to achieve cost-effective deployments allowing for greater connectivity to previously unconnected areas. Working with Vanu, a provider of equipment, tools and services that allow mobile network operators to profit by serving off-grid communities, MTN ultimately aims to supply both equipment and services for as many as 6,000 mobile network sites in rural areas across its 21 operations, bringing 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity to areas that were previously unconnected. In order to realise this goal, MTN will rely on an ecosystem of partners who will bring their expertise to build and maintain the sites, utilising a full turnkey approach. The vendor, meanwhile, says that its ‘unique’ off-grid network systems will enable MTN Group to provide efficient and profitable connectivity solutions to previously unconnected communities.
MTN’s operations in Uganda and Guinea are already benefiting from this technology, as the regional carrier has also partnered with the likes of Vanu, Parallel Wireless and NuRAN Wireless to deliver OpenRAN technology in those markets.