MTN to rollout 4.5G network in South Africa this year

MTN South Africa, Qualcomm Technologies – a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated -, and Huawei have jointly completed 4×4 MIMO field trial in a live network, where the average download throughput increased by 74% compared to traditional LTE 2×2 MIMO.

Multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) is a method for multiplying the capacity of a radio link using multiple transmit and receive antennas.

Based on the performance of the technology, MTN plan to rollout South Africa’s largest 4×4 MIMO network in 2017 to provide users with the best 4.5G experience.

MTN South Africa began to roll out their LTE network in 2012. Average growth rate of mobile data traffic in the whole network reaches 79%. The growing demand for data service needs more capacity to allow for enhanced user experiences. MIMO technology allows operators to significantly improve network capacity and user experience, and coverage without adding spectrum or adding new sites. Compared with traditional 2×2 MIMO, the field trial demonstrated that the average download throughput of 4 receiver terminal (4×4 MIMO) increased by 74% and 2 receiver terminal (4×2 MIMO) increased by 26%, which showed deploying higher-order MIMO can alleviate network traffic congestions.

Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO of MTN South Africa, said: “MTN has been committed to providing users with the richest communications life, so that our users can enjoy more movies, music and football in real-time through mobile networks. As a result, we continue to improve our network experience by introducing advanced technical solutions. MTN is confident in MIMO technology. We plan to roll out the largest 4×4 MIMO 4.5G network in South Africa, and introduce the latest 4×4 MIMO terminal to allow users to enjoy the best 4.5G experience in 2017.”

We are very pleased to be able to participate in this field trial and provide mobile test devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 mobile processor with X12 LTE,” said James Munn, vice president, business development, Qualcomm International, Inc., South Africa. ” The results are very positive, 4T4R has significant gains both on downlink capacity and uplink coverage. We encourage the rollout of 4×4 MIMO across the network and maximizing 4×4 MIMO capable device penetration to realize more gains.”

Steven Wu, CEO of South Africa Huawei Tech. Investment said: “Huawei has delivered more than 30 4T4R networks globally. We found both 4×4 MIMO and 4×2 MIMO has outstanding performances in this field trial. At Mobile World Congress 2017, a variety of 4 receiver terminals have gone to market. Meanwhile, 4T4R has been the benchmark of 4.5G network. We believe Huawei’s advanced multi-antenna technology can play an important role in MTN South Africa’s network.”


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