Telecommunications company MTN announced that it will begin its first commercial installation of Supersonic AirFibre on Monday, May 3.
Since announcing the solution’s launch in February this year, the group has said it has received more than 20,000 expressions of interest, with the goal of connecting 60,000 homes in the first year.
This coincides with an increase in demand for affordable, fiber-like Internet access in previously inaccessible areas, the group said. The first commercial deployment will begin in Soweto, Mamelodi, Fairlands and Honeydew.
Calvin Collett, Managing Director, ISP, MTN SA: Supersonic said AirFibre serves as an alternative to labor-intensive deployment of wired fiber, using MTN’s existing receiving network.
He added that the technology uses existing open spectrum frequencies, which MTN says can lower the cost of serving customers. It is an uncapped premium technology ranging from 5 Mbps to 100 Mbps, which allows users to access the internet as a full fiber experience.
“The sad reality is that while virtually all of the world’s urban areas are covered by a mobile broadband network, worrying gaps in connectivity and internet access persist outside of cities and in rural areas,” said Collett.
The International Telecommunication Union points out that the problem is most pronounced in the least developed countries, where only 17% of the rural population live in areas with no mobile coverage at all.
Only 19% of the rural population is only covered by a 2G network, but globally, around 72% of households in urban areas have access to the Internet at home, almost twice as many as in rural areas (38 %).
“It is essential that Africa is not left behind as the push towards faster, cheaper and more accessible broadband solutions takes root,” said Collett.
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