MTN has joined the growing list of South African telecommunications operators offering next-generation LTE-Advanced broadband services offering theoretical speeds in excess of 100Mbit/s over mobile connections.
The company said on Wednesday that it has launched LTE-A in Camps Bay in Cape Town, Moreleta Park in Pretoria and at the Gautrain station in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
The ability to aggregate or pool spectrum is one of the primary benefits of LTE-A, said MTN South Africa acting chief technology officer Krishna Chetty.
Using this technology, MTN is able to combine portions of its available spectrum where it can be “re-farmed” or reallocated to enable LTE-A.
The company has launched the LTE-A service despite the fact that it has not been allocated any additional radio frequency spectrum by communications regulator Icasa.
“The lack of critical, high-value spectrum has compelled MTN to re-farm existing spectrum to cater for the rollout of new-generation networks such as LTE-A,” the company said in a statement.
LTE-A is still relatively new and thus only a few high-end devices are compatible with the network, it said.
MTN rival Vodacom has also rolled out a number of LTE-A sites, although it has admitted it is constrained in its ability to roll the technology out more broadly because of it does not have access to sufficient spectrum.
Telkom has also deployed LTE-A in selected areas using the large chunk of spectrum it has access to in the 2,3GHz band. — (c) 2016 NewsCentral Media