MTN SA expands LTE footprint

February 26, 2014 • Company News, Mobile and Telecoms

MTN has extended its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network to Port Elizabeth, bringing its valued customers in the windy city onto the high-speed new generation network.

The commercial rollout of LTE, commonly known as 4G, to Port Elizabeth, represents another milestone for MTN (image: Wikipedia)

The commercial rollout of LTE, commonly known as 4G, to Port Elizabeth, represents another milestone for MTN (image: Wikipedia)

The commercial rollout of LTE, commonly known as 4G, to Port Elizabeth, represents another milestone for MTN- the first operator in South Africa to pilot LTE in July 2011.

LTE is a new generation network that offers high speeds and low latencies over long distances. LTE can theoretically support downloads at 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) or more based on experimental trials.

“The national rollout of this new generation technology is testament to MTN’s commitment to augmenting its infrastructure and providing its customers with the world class network they have come to expect from us. Having pioneered 4G in South Africa, we have raised the bar of what defines superior network performance and our customers have come to expect nothing less from us.

Access to high-speed internet connectivity while on the move has become an essential part of our lives. Providing MTN customers with the fastest possible internet speeds enables our customers to run their business more efficiently, engage with people from all over the world more effectively,” says Eben Albertyn, Chief Technology Officer at MTN South Africa.

A speed test completed earlier this year found that the MTN LTE download speed was 33.89 Mbps and upload speed 8.48 Mbps. This means LTE customers can upload a photo in six seconds, download a song in four seconds, and a complete movie downloads in minutes.

Albertyn says MTN is delighted to introduce the residents of Port Elizabeth to this high-speed network, and adds that the commercial rollout of this new generation network resonates with MTN’s vision of doing good by connecting cities, towns, townships, suburbs and villages on a digital highway.

“At MTN, we believe that broadband connectivity is the catalyst for socio-economic development. Not only will it help South Africa and the continent bridge the digital divide by bringing ICT services to rural and under-serviced areas, but it will also enable customers to access information in a more multimedia rich way than was possible before,” says Albertyn.

MTN customers in the Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Durban metropolitan areas are already benefitting from the LTE network which the operator is progressively extending to other cities and peri-urban areas.

“MTN believes that investment in infrastructure is key to broadband access. Research has proved that broadband connectivity contributes to economic growth and development, and for every 10% incremental broadband penetration will result in a 1.38% point in GDP growth rate. These investments that MTN makes in its infrastructure will assist government to deliver on its 2030 Millennium Vision and also assure that broadband is no longer the exclusive purview of the few,” says  Albertyn

“LTE will provide many benefits to the people of Port Elizabeth. It will greatly assist in the adoption of tablets, cloud computing services, and other consumer and business-critical applications that South Africans need to be competitive in the connected landscape,” adds Albertyn

To get a more detailed view of the MTN LTE coverage areas, people can visit the MTN Web site at

The MTN LTE network now covers approximately three million South Africans with just under 1,000 LTE-enabled towers deployed in the country.

Staff writer



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