Telecom giant MTN Uganda has embarked on the process of investing in infrastructure as it transitions to 5G technology.
The telecom company has joined the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), a global community of companies and organisations working together to accelerate the development of standards-based technology solutions that deliver high quality connectivity.
Under the partnership, MTN will boost network capabilities at 2,500 sites across the country.
5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.
5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries.
According to Ali Monzer, the MTN chief technical information officer, the company will use TIP’s Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway (DCSG) technology that provides a faster transport network to move all telecommunication traffic across networks.
“Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway technology might reduce the connection time by a certain percentage. The voice quality is also going to be enhanced. Overall, the benefits are incremental,” he says.
Monzer says this will see an improved service across all aspects including voice, data, SMS and all other digital services.
“DCSG is going to optimise the transport network to streamline and improve our customer’s experience while using MTN services. For instance, it will allow us to optimize the latency. Latency refers to the time it takes for a signal to travel to its destination and back. This means that if you are in Karamoja, the new technology should allow you to connect a phone call in a few milliseconds. If it takes 2 seconds to hear the ring, the DCSG technology might reduce the connection time by a certain percentage. The voice quality is also going to be enhanced. Overall, the benefits are incremental,” he adds.
In 2019, MTN kicked off a process in which it said it would develop 5G technology as part of an evolution across its operations. During the trial launch, MTN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Huawei Technologies, in which the two firms would research and innovate towards developing 5G technology.
Mr Monzer said the technology will allow MTN to expose its network assets in a very efficient way as well as supporting the shift from just a communications service provider to a digital service company.
”It will open us up to digitize more services. It will also us to be more bullish in mobile money to enrich services on the products and platforms. You know digitization boosts productivity and the economy through creating jobs and more business opportunities especially for the youth. This will not only boost MTN but also the entire economy. This technology will allow MTN expose its network assets in very efficient way to allow people to innovate,” he adds.