Telecom operator MTN Group has selected ZTE to ensure collaboration on 5G network architectures.
ZTE and MTN will jointly conduct a series of technology verification tests and assessments in 5G, to strengthen MTN’s leading position and accelerate the commercialization of 5G in MEA.
ZTE will collaborate with MTN to complete both lab and field tests in 5G NR, 5G virtualized network slicing, carrier-class DevOps and container-based vEPC, and 5G Flexhaul bearer network in phase one test in 2018.
MTN and ZTE will complete the joint verification of 5G technology architecture, business model and user experience, expecting to lay a solid foundation for MTN Group to take the lead in 5G deployment in MEA.
ZTE has supported MTN Group with its 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. Xu Huijun, CTO of ZTE and Babak Fouladi, CTIO of MTN Group signed the 5G agreement.
“We will continue our journey in the 5G innovations and we will jointly explore the future direction of network construction and technology evolution, and bring services to our customers,” said Babak Fouladi, CTIO of MTN Group.
ZTE has entered into 5G partnerships with operators such as Telefonica, Wind Tre of Italy, Belgium’s Telenet, VEON, Telecom Malaysia, South Korea’s KT, T-Mobile, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
Earlier, MTN said it invested in the roll out of network and information technology across its mobile markets. MTN reduced its capital expenditure (capex) in H1 2017, impacted by limited foreign currency availability in Nigeria, some execution challenges as well as the seasonality of the Capex cycle. MTN rolled out 4,404 3G and 3,478 4G co-located sites during the first half of 2017.
MTN Group revenue grew 6.7 percent to R64 315 million – fuelled by 31.9 percent growth in data revenue to R13 952 million, supported by the improved quality and capacity of its data networks in key markets.
MTN’s digital revenue increased 24.7 percent, driven mainly by mobile financial services (MFS). MTN added 2.7 million active MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) customers in the first half of 2017.