Finnish telecommunications company Nokia has secured a deal with MTN South Africa, the largest mobile network operator in Africa, to provide its 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment across 2800 sites in the central and eastern parts of the country.

Under the agreement, Nokia will upgrade MTN’s existing 2G/3G/4G radio network while expanding its 5G radio network. The move will enable a superior 5G experience for mobile users with high bandwidth, ultra-fast speeds, and low latency.

Nokia to drive digitalization in South Africa with MTN 5G new expansion deal | DroidAfrica

As part of the partnership, Nokia will supply 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). Nokia’s Self-Organizing Networks (SON) solution for optimization and network assurance will also ensure that MTN’s network continues to perform optimally.

In addition to expanding its network, Nokia will establish a training program to drive digitalization in South Africa and across the African continent. The program, open to 5,000 applicants, 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.

Nokia to drive digitalization in South Africa with MTN 5G new expansion deal | DroidAfrica

Michele Gamberini, MTN South Africa’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, stated that the partnership with Nokia is a step toward ensuring South Africa’s leadership in the digital era across the African continent and globally.

Meanwhile, Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, noted that the deal will strengthens the company’s market position in South Africa and will helps MTN deliver superior 5G experiences to its subscribers.

The partnership between Nokia and MTN SA will enable the deployment of next-generation technologies, such as Nokia’s AirScale portfolio, and help South African citizens and businesses leverage the digital economy to reap the benefits of a modern connected life.



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