MTN sees Open RAN as the key to 5G
Apr 06, 2022 by Toby Youell


RegionsAfrica, Middle East
TagsAfrica, Middle East, MTN, Open RAN

From Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has suffered severe shocks in the last few years. But one area of opportunity is Africa. According to the UN, a young population and improving healthcare mean that half of all population growth from now until 2050 will come from Africa.

The continent offers high growth opportunities for the mobile industry. The biggest mobile operator in Africa, with over 200 million subscribers across 16 markets (plus a presence in the Middle East), is MTN.

But despite the continent’s potential, median incomes in Africa remain low. Given the high cost of mobile broadband services in richer countries, how does MTN plan to deploy 5G? The answer, according to our new operator profile for MTN, is Open RAN, the idea that mobile operators can diversify their suppliers by having standard interfaces between different components of their networks. The company is involved in various research projects into the concept and is also participating in trials with Rakuten in South Africa, Nigeria, and Liberia.

Our profile of MTN adds to our collection of 13 mobile operator profiles. Fully updates for 2022, these provide easy-to-find information about spectrum policies for the most important mobile operators globally. They are available as part of the Spectrum Research Service here.