The ITU identifies broadband as a ‘powerful potential accelerator towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)’, given the role of technology and communications in reshaping people’s lives economically and socially.
We are investing in flexible, scalable and profitable data technology solutions and next generation networks to support the growth of data services as a key contributor to revenue.
MTN South Africa is the first continental cellphone operator to launch the Long Term Evolution (LTE) pilot project in 2011, core to our vision of using mobile technology to bridge Africa’s digital divide.
With data revenues representing the next wave of growth for operators, MTN has invested more than US$230 million in fibre-optic cables since 2009. Our Y’ello Africa Fibre Ring consists of the East African Main System, South Atlantic 3 South Africa (the two sentences below are part of this sentence) Far East (SAT-3/SAFE), East Africa Submarine System, Europe India Gateway and West Africa Cable System.
Our experience shows that high-capacity broadband connectivity reduces costs and the limitations associated with satellite connectivity.
It also increases the feasibility of providing converged IT services across Africa and the Middle East, enables new retail services such as mobile internet, improves bandwidth connectivity and quality, and reduces operating costs for mobile operators, wholesalers and retailers. In 2010, we found that our investment in broadband connectivity stimulated a 400% increase in capacity utilised in Southern and Eastern Africa, indicating a pent-up demand for affordable connectivity. We continue to roll out high-capacity networks across Africa, and plan to double our 3G sites between 2012 and 2014 in South Africa alone. We continued to extend broadband connectivity through further submarine and terrestrial extension of our WACS and EIG cables at further sites in 2011.