MTN South Africa has selected Ericsson as a 5G network modernization vendor. Ericsson will supply 5G products and solutions from its radio access network (RAN), transport and core portfolios, with commercial rollout expected to start in 2020.
As part of its transformation strategy, MTN South Africa is upgrading its core network to support 3GPP-compliant 5G non-standalone architecture (NSA).
5G commercialization is planned between 2020 and 2022, with a focus on use cases and applications relevant in the South African context. These include enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access and the Internet of Things (IoT). MTN and Ericsson say they are working together to identify and develop 5G use cases and applications that will contribute to the digital transformation of industry verticals.
In addition to providing end-to-end 5G capabilities, Ericsson has been chosen to modernize MTN South Africa’s existing LTE and legacy radio access networks as part of a three-year deal signed earlier this year. This is aimed at accelerating MTN South Africa’s digitization ambitions in the expanding South African market.
MTN is using 5G new radios (5G NR), basebands, and MINI-LINK microwave transmission products from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio to enhance network quality and user experiences for the company’s 30 million customers. Ericsson has also provided MTN with an Ericsson Cloud Core network, including 5G evolved packet core (5G EPC) and user data management (UDM).