MTN names vendors for Africa-wide open RAN networks

MTN names vendors for Africa-wide open RAN networks

17 June 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


MTN has picked two Indian companies and three US companies for its move to open RAN technology, which it plans to start this year.

The roll-out will cover all of MTN’s mobile networks across Africa, the company said.

Altiostar, Mavenir and Parallel Wireless are the three US vendors; TechMahindra and Voyage are the two from India, said MTN in yesterday’s announcement.

Charles Molapisi (pictured), the group’s chief technology and information officer, said: “Customers measure us against the speed with which we can deploy the latest technology and we are committed to finding faster and better ways to do that.”

Amith Maharaj, the group’s executive for network planning and design, said: “MTN can now look at building a network that can meet cost and capacity requirements of specific markets, or even rapidly deploy 5G and/or 4G seamlessly with existing legacy services. This is a real game-changer for mobile advancement in emerging markets.”  

MTN said that, “with up-to-date technology, we can expect a reduction in our power consumption and associated carbon emissions. This, in turn, supports our plans to decarbonise our network and achieve net zero emissions by 2040, our Project Zero.”

The move marks a breakaway from traditional RAN suppliers such as Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia. “At MTN we are alive to the potential of open interfaces,” said Molapisi.

“There is a lot of value that dominant players bring to the business, but telecommunications today is as much about the stability of the network as it is about new services.”