According to the Sunday Times, MTN is constructing private 5G networks for 14 businesses in South Africa’s mining and port industries. These networks will give the businesses assured capacity and coverage for their operations.
Private networks, according to Charles Molapisi, CEO of MTN South Africa, are an “interesting” area for the operator. “In terms of private networks on the 5G side, we are way ahead of many. We are far ahead of many in terms of private network on the 5G side. We see this as a huge growth area,” Molapisi stated.
The networks, according to Molapisi, would also facilitate cloud computing, greater cybersecurity, and unified communications in addition to offering data and phone services. “It’s connectivity first; then we put [on] layers of other services. Any form of communication will be deployed. Globally, companies are moving aggressively into this,” Molapisi explained.
Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications in intelligent mines and factories have long been touted as being possible with 5G’s high capacity and low latency capabilities. One particular application is the precise and secure remote operation of excavation vehicles at mines in regions that are too dangerous for people to enter.
Worldwide ports have been using 5G to support connectivity. To increase productivity and save operational costs, these facilities use automation, machine learning, big data, augmented reality, and IoT. Given Transnet’s port operations’ history of issues and shipping delays, such solutions might swiftly result in tangible advantages for the South African economy.
Since launching in June 2020, MTN’s public 5G network in South Africa has experienced significant development. It has reached 20% of the population, which is a big accomplishment given that MTN’s goal is to have 25% of the population covered by 5G by the end of 2022.
It offers a variety of uncapped, high-capacity fixed-5G options for less than R1,000 per month in addition to mobile 5G access. A significant portion of the company’s advancement has been ascribed to the extra capacity it purchased in the 3,500 MHz band during Icasa’s high-demand frequency spectrum auction in March 2022.