MTN South Africa will finally launch its 5G network next week, 30 June 2020, becoming the first of the telecommunications group’s 22 operations to launch the next-generation broadband technology.
The pan-African telecom is hosting a live event on its YouTube channel that same day. The event will be hosted by CEO Godfrey Motsa, chief consumer officer Mapula Bodibe and chief technology & information officer Giovanni Chiarelli.
At the beginning of the month, MTN began announcing that it would launch 5G networks in major cities across South Africa. The exact locations for these launches have been confidential.
Initially, MTN had been expecting to launch their 5G networks at the start of June, however, according to Business Insider, it experienced issues and “delays in bringing some equipment into the country.”
The company has also confirmed that, like Vodacom, it will be using the emergency spectrum allocated by the government to provide 5G services. Important to note that operators will only get access to the emergency spectrum till November, and MTN has of yet not announcing any 5G services not running on the spectrum.
Vodacom beats MTN to the punch
Rival Vodacom managed to beat MTN in the 5G race, having a month’s lead. The company launched its own 5G network services at the beginning of May.
This network will support both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on twenty-live 5G sites, 18 of which are in Gauteng and 2 in Cape Town.
Vodacom customers with 5G enabled devices, and within a 5G coverage area, are now able to access one of the fastest and most sophisticated network connections in Africa. Vodacom has of yet not made clear what its plans are for the 5G network come November.