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MTN launches 5G in 3 South African provinces

MTN

MTN SA has deployed and launched its new 5G network in 3 South African provinces, i.e Gauteng, Western Cape and Free State. Before you get all hyped, the majority of the 5G being deployed will be the slower lower band 5G. We explained the differences between the existing 5G standards before, so check that out if you haven’t.

MTN’s 5G service will be available for both homes and mobile consumers. Subscribers getting 5G home wifi service will have average speeds of 100Mbps and peak speeds of 500Mbps. 5G mobile subscribers will offer 50Mbps most times and similarly 500Mbps peaks as well.

Techcentral reported that the 5G will be deployed in the following frequencies;

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  • 3.5GHz at 58 sites: This is the ideal spectrum band for 5G, known as the “golden band”, offering both faster speeds and low latencies.
  • 2.1GHz and 1.8GHz at 35 sites: MTN is re-farming some 4G spectrum to allow it to run 4G and 5G spectrum, at the same time, in the same band. This allows for easier migration of network technology from LTE to 5G. It also allows us to deploy 5G using existing spectrum assets in the absence of additional high-demand spectrum.
  • 700MHz at five sites: This is an excellent band for extensive coverage, making it ideal for use for urban indoor settings and for small towns and rural coverage due to the low-band frequency propagation. .
  • 28GHz at three sites: This high-frequency bandwidth offers great speeds, making this ideal for fixed-wireless 5G connectivity.

The 28Ghz sites are the mmWave 5G that can reach speeds above the 1Gbps mark. The downside of mmWave is that it can only travel as far as 50m and will do its best to consume as much battery as it possibly can whilst you use it.

Pricing

PlanAnytime DataNight ExpressPrice (24-month)Price in US$
75GB75GB75GBR699US$40.45
100GB100GB100GBR799US$46.24
200GB200GB200GBR1,099US$63.60
300GB300GB300GBR1,199US$69.39
400GB400GB400GBR1,399US$80.96
500GB500GB500GBR1,599US$92.54
UnlimitedUnlimited, with Fair Usage PolicyUnlimited, with Fair Usage PolicyR1,249US$72
The US$ pricing uses the exchange rate at the time of writing

When you consider that MTN isn’t spreading that cost across it’s entire 28.95 million subscribers initially, it isn’t too surprising that the service will initially be more expensive than their 4G pricing. By Zim standards though, the 5G pricing is actually not that bad and is comparable to what Zimbos are paying for fibre internet to their homes,


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