Picture: BLOOMBERG/NADINE HUTTON
Picture: BLOOMBERG/NADINE HUTTON

In this edition of Business Day Spotlight, we talk about MTN’s effort to bring low-cost “fibre-quality” internet services to underserved areas of SA.

Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Calvin Collett, MD of Supersonic, MTN SA’s internet service provider unit.

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Collett begins by outlining the telecom provider’s new technology.

AirFibre is MTN’s new service run through its internet service provider unit, Supersonic, which the company says will bring “high-speed, inexpensive, and uncapped connectivity solutions to areas in which traditional fibre installations are not available.”

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI.

Unlike a traditional fibre service where cables run underground along streets and into homes, MTN has created hubs that are connected to their fibre network. Those hubs connect wirelessly to homes, which is where the operator saves on costs.

Collett explains that rural internet connectivity (areas outside major centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban) remains a sore point in SA. As such, MTN is looking to tackle two main problems faced in SA: the high cost of internet access and bringing high speed broadband to peri-urban, secondary towns and in townships.

The discussion also touches on how the technology compares to fibre and mobile, the cost for consumers, the areas in which MTN is looking to roll the technology out to, factors driving demand for connectivity in SA, and the effect of Covid-19 on the mobile operator’s business.

For more episodes, click here.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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