MTN modernisation drive helps Free State and Northern Cape clients access the modern connected world

Published Mar 15, 2024


MTN continues to open the door to the digital highway for more people across SA.

We are focused on driving and expanding coverage and excellence across all provinces and are pleased to report that in MTN’s Central Region, which includes the Free State, Northern Cape and parts of North-West, network sites with resilience are now achieving above 98% network availability daily.

This comes as our network resilience drive kicks into high gear after addressing more than 1400 sites through the program. You will already see these benefits in your daily life as modernisation ensures you can do all the things you love – like stay in touch with loved ones, browse for information and news or merely enjoy your favourites Netflix show – without disruption, even when loadshedding bites.

So far, we have modernised over 50% of our sites in the region and plan to add further sites this year, including in rural areas, which will enhance capacity and drive quality. The total network resilience completed currently stands at 95.85% in the central region.

All rural and farming communities have benefited greatly in terms of connectivity as the network is now stable and available during loadshedding and power outages. Notable highlights in 2023, was the southern Free State town of Oppermansgronde receiving 4G coverage for the first time, while all towns saw improved network availability. For example, network availability in Mafikeng in the North-West improved from 75% to 98% during the various bouts of loadshedding.

More sites are on track to be completed in the first quarter of this year, while plans include adding more generators to increase the autonomy in areas struggling with extended power outages. MTN also plans to add more solar panels on site where generators can’t be deployed and all sites without LTE are planned to be upgraded to LTE in 2024.

With a significant portion of Africa’s population living in rural areas, MTN is committed to expanding its network to underserved communities. MTN Group aims to achieve 95% rural broadband coverage by 2025.

While mobile has been driving digital inclusion, there remain connectivity gaps in areas not yet covered by a mobile broadband network.

These uncovered communities – predominantly rural, poor and sparsely populated – are a key focus for us. We have extended 4G population coverage across Northern Cape and Free State to 96% and 99% respectively.

Our purpose is to enable the benefits of a modern connected life for everyone, and we continue to brighten lives through the power of connectivity.

MTN will continue to play a bold role in accelerating South Africa’s development. We know that extending digital and financial inclusion is more critical than ever, and innovation won’t stop as we drive further progress and significantly enhance access from here.

We want the opportunities that the digital world offers to be universal, contributing as a positive force for the transformation of individuals, companies, and society. To support this, we are harnessing the power of MTN across our key regions.

Loadshedding, theft and damage at sites, however, remain challenging and we need a greater collective effort in the fight against crime and vandalism.

We encourage communities to play a proactive role in helping mitigate the effects of site vandalism, especially during load-shedding.

Criminals have continued to use the cover of darkness during load shedding as an opportunity to strike, but our fightback, with the support of our communities has been strong. We ask that you continue to support us in this drive by being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity by calling 083 123 7867 or emailing [email protected]. We are stronger together!