Mobile network operator MTN has rolled out over 2,500 5G sites across the markets in which it operates.

This was revealed when MTN, which is Africa’s biggest mobile network operator, this week released its integrated report for the year ended 31 December 2022.

“In the period, we rolled out 3 498 3G and 7 993 4G sites, culminating in our 3G and 4G coverage increasing by nine million and 45 million people, respectively,” says Ralph Mupita, MTN Group CEO.

“In 2022, we rolled out 1 570 5G sites, mainly in South Africa and Nigeria, bringing our total number of 5G sites to 2 527,” he adds.

In South Africa, MTN is rolling out 5G after winning spectrum in the auction held by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. Additional spectrum is expected to be released in the short-term.

After winning 100MHz spectrum for 5G in the auction, MTN became the first operator to launch 5G in Nigeria in 2022.

“We are targeting 10% 5G population coverage by end-2023. The other spectrum winner is yet to launch its network.”

According to Mupita, MTN increased smartphone penetration to 58% of its customer base (up 3.8 percentage points), as it continued its push for greater digital and financial inclusion.

MTN GlobalConnect (MTN GC), which drives MTN’s FibreCo ambitions, continued to scale its fixed connectivity and wholesale mobility services, says Mupita.

“It rolled out 5,157km of new fibre in 2022, bringing our total inventory to more than 105,157km of proprietary fibre and comparing well with our 2025 target of 135,000km.”

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