MTN to raise capex in SA to 7 billion rand in 2013

MTN Group plans to spend 7 billion rand on its South African network in 2013, a 40 percent increase from the current year, the telecoms operator said on Tuesday.

The headquarters of South Africa’s MTN Group is seen in Johannesburg in this file photograph.

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile phone services provider, also said it is “exploring the possibility of switching on” commercial long term evolution, or so-called 4G technology, in three South African cities within 2012.

Kanagaratnam Lambotharan, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA says the commercialisation of technologies such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) is expected to address consumer needs for full service continuity, a seamless network and high speed Internet connection.

He says MTN is exploring the possibility of switching on its commercial LTE network within 2012 and has identified 3 key urban cities to roll out the network namely Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

‘However pricing has not been finalised yet.’

The company said in a statement it has increased 2 Generation (2G) network coverage to 98.6% of the country’s population while the company’s EDGE and 3Generation sites cover 92% and close to 65% of South Africa respectively.