Africa’s largest telecom group MTN SA has announced a further investment of $46.4-million (ZAR 700-million) in order to modernise existing, and deploy new, network infrastructure across the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province in South Africa.
The investment, which is an addition to the ZAR 500 million invested in 2021, will go toward expanding the rural reach and fifth-generation (5G) capacity, as well as the restoration of vandalised network infrastructure, the Telecoms group said in a press release.
Funds will also be allocated to MTN’s Modernisation of Network South Africa (MONZA) project.
“The KZN investment forms part of plans to modernise the entire MTN network, 68% of which has already been completed nationally, with an additional 1350 sites to be finalised, and around 200 top areas covered across SA, by the end of 2022”, said Matthew Khumalo, MTN’s General Manager for KwaZulu-Natal Operations.
The extension of MTN’s 5G connectivity is also planned for KZN. Currently, the province has over 100 live 5G sites and more are planned for 2022.
MTN currently has over 900 active 5G sites across the country. "With the aim of closing the digital access gaps in South Africa, our target is to have 20% of the population covered by 2022," Matthew added.
According to the release, while MTN’s heightened security and community collaboration strategy has seen a 50% year-on-year reduction in battery theft, and further anticipated ZAR 350 million is to be spent on the replacement of stolen batteries, infrastructure restoration, and security measures in 2022. This is over and above the ZAR 650 million invested in 2021, with 2600 base station batteries replaced nationally, the company said.