MTN, Africa’s largest mobile network operator, has conducted a proof of concept for a first-of-its-kind 5G Stand Alone Core fully deployed in Microsoft Azure. MTN is working with Microsoft to accelerate digital and cloud transformation to help drive Africa’s growth.
The proof of concept was conducted with all of the 5G Stand Alone Core elements including control plane, user plane and management nodes, deployed fully in the South Africa Azure Region.
The project allowed MTN to experience the benefits associated with deploying a core network in Azure including fast deployment time (days vs months) and ease of scale. The learnings drive a paradigm shift in network planning considering sustainability, commercial models, automation and disaster recovery.
“Being one of the first in the world to conduct this proof of concept demonstrates MTN’s desire to keep pushing the boundaries of technological innovation that delivers value to our shareholders,”
says Amith Maharaj, MTN Group Chief Technology Officer.
5G has the ability to transform business and livelihoods beyond simple connectivity in Africa. The key lies in the ultra-fast end-to-end communication capacity it enables. It will enable many industries such as education, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, agriculture and mining to be more efficient.
Executing on the PACE technology strategy, MTN Group is ramping up its rollout of 5G sites targeting a population coverage of 10%-30% in the medium term.
“Microsoft is equipping industry leaders with ubiquitous computing power to help them realize the potential of 5G networks. With Azure, MTN can enrich its digital capabilities and enable organizations across industries to bring modern high-performance applications to their customers faster,”
said Tad Brockway, Corporate Vice President Azure for Operators, Microsoft.
MTN will use the PoC as a stepping stone to drive further innovation in the cloud domain as part of its PACE technology strategy to accelerate the execution of its Ambition 2025 and drive industry leading connectivity operations through technology platforms that are second to none.
As Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita has said,
“Africa will surprise on 5G.”
The continent stands at the cusp of an industrial evolution (Industry 4.0) enabled by 5G. Never has a technology been so eagerly anticipated.