Nokia has been selected by MTN South Africa for the first time ever as one of its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment providers.
Under the deal, Nokia will modernise the existing 2G/3G/4G radio network and expand MTN’s 5G radio network across 2 800 sites in the Central and Eastern part of the country – driving digitalisation across the African continent.
Nokia will provide equipment from its next-generation, energy-efficient AirScale portfolio – powered by its latest generation of ReefShark chipsets – including 5G AirScale baseband, massive MIMO active antennas and remote radio heads (RRH) covering all urban and rural scenarios.
It will also provide its Self-Organizing Networks (SON) solution for optimization and network assurance, ensuring MTN’s network continues to perform optimally. Nokia’s solutions will enable a 5G experience for mobile users with high bandwidth, ultra-fast speeds, and low latency.
As part of its commitment to South Africa, Nokia is also establishing a training program to drive digitalisation in the country and across the African continent. Open to 5 000 applicants, the program will focus on product development as well as developing entrepreneurship. The program is aligned with the Finnish National Agency of Education and graduates will receive a diploma supporting further career opportunities.
Michele Gamberini, MTN South Africa’s chief technology and information officer, says: “We need next-generation technologies, such as Nokia’s AirScale portfolio to ensure that South Africa is a leader in the digital era across the African continent and globally. Our partnership with Nokia allows us to rapidly expand our 5G network so that our citizens and their businesses can leverage the digital economy and reap the benefits of a modern connected life.”
Tommi Uitto, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, adds: “This significant contract with MTN strengthens our market position in South Africa and helps MTN deliver superior 5G experiences to its subscribers. Our industry-leading energy-efficient AirScale portfolio will improve the coverage and capacity of MTN’s network performance while contributing to reduced carbon emissions. We look forward to a long-lasting and successful partnership with MTN.”