Telecommunications Giant MTN Launches AirFibre In South Africa. Telecommunications company MTN says it will begin its first commercial installation of Supersonic AirFibre in South Africa. Since the announcement of the launch of the solution in February this year, the group said it has received over 20,000 expressions of interest, with the aim to connect 60,000 homes within the first year.
Calvin Collett, managing director of MTN SA’s ISP: Supersonic told Business Tech that AirFibre serves as an alternative to the labour-intensive rollout of cabled fibre, by using MTN’s existing reception network. “The unfortunate reality is that while virtually all urban areas in the world are covered by a mobile broadband network, worrying gaps in connectivity and internet access persist outside of the cities and in rural areas,” said Collett.
MTN Group Limited, formerly M-Cell, is a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African and Asian countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg. As of September 2020, MTN recorded 273.44 million subscribers, making it the ninth largest mobile network operator in the world, and the largest in Africa. Active in over 20 countries, one-third of company revenue come from Nigeria, where it holds about 35% market share. MTN Group is the primary sponsor of the South Africa national rugby union team and sponsors English football club Manchester United F.C.
“It is critical that Africa is not left behind as the surge towards faster, cheaper, and more accessible broadband solutions take root,” Collett added. The company was founded in 1994 as M-Cell with assistance from the South African government. In 1995, it replaced its then-CEO, John Beck, with Robert (Bob) Chaphe. In 2001, the company reported that its controlling shareholder was Johnnic Holdings, and the chairperson was Irene Charnley. In 2002, Phuthuma Nhleko became the CEO, replacing then-CEO Paul Edwards, who had invested in expansion to Nigeria. MTN’s competitors in South Africa include Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom Mobile.