MTN to launch its 5G network in South Africa this month


Mobile service provider MTN intends to launch its 5G network in South Africa from this month. The initial launch was supposed to be from 1 June, but this has been delayed. When the service does launch, a little later this month, MTN’s 5G will be available in SA in MTN’s LTE coverage areas and at LTE price points. This is broader coverage than we were expecting for 5G’s initial rollout.

It’s a conspiracy

MTN’s spilt the beans in its Y’ello Trader magazine, which explains that the service would go live from 1 June this year. The fine print for the ad reads:

“The 5G network service offering is valid from 01/06/2020. Both post-paid and prepaid customers with 5G-enabled devices and an LTE SIM card qualify for the service. Current 4G devices will not be able to use the new network, which will require new 5G-enabled wireless devices. The service is only available in LTE coverage areas. LTE SIM card customer price plan rates will apply.”

However, the service has yet to launch. MTN confirmed to MyBroadband that rollout was delayed until later this month, thanks to delays in bringing 5G equipment into the country. The service is pushing Huawei’s P40 and P40 Pro as its first 5G-capable devices on its network. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more concrete details from the network.


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