MTN switches on LTE-A in ‘affluent’ suburbs

2016-03-16 10:12
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Johannesburg - Mobile network MTN says it has launched LTE-Advanced networks in the “affluent suburbs of Camps Bay, Moreleta Park and at the Gautrain station in Rosebank”.

LTE-A technology offers faster internet download speeds than 3G speeds.

“LTE-A allows us to prepare our networks for the digital age and the introduction of avante-garde digital solutions that are expected to come to the market in the future,” said Krishna Chetty, MTN SA’s acting chief technical officer, in a statement.

MTN has said a lack of spectrum has compelled it to re-farm existing spectrum to cater for the roll-out of LTE-A.

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South Africa’s government has yet to open up more radio spectrum for mobile broadband after the country has faced a series of delays in its digital broadcast migration project over the years.

In the meantime, MTN is resorting to using the existing spectrum it has.

“The ability to aggregate or pool spectrum is one of the primary benefits of LTE-A,” said MTN in a statement.

“Using this technology, MTN is able to combine portions of its available spectrum where it can be re-farmed, to enable LTE-A,” said the company.

MTN further added that, at this stage, only a few high-end devices are compatible with LTE-A.

Other networks to roll out LTE-A in South Africa include the likes of Telkom.

Telkom launched South Africa’s first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in Parkview, Johannesburg in 2014. The service has since been expanded to other suburb, Cape Town, and KwaZulu-Natal.

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