MTN’s 5G start: dynamic spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G with Huawei’s technology

MTN this week successfully launched its 5G mobile network across major cities in South Africa. Huawei shared some insights on the technical part.

Leveraging on multiple bands, MTN deployed 5G in 2.1GHz using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, 3.5GHz and 28GHz bands. 3.5 GHz, known as C-band, is the global mainstream spectrum for 5G deployment, and Massive MIMO is the mainstream product form.

MTN’s 5G deployment in Johannesburg uses industry-leading Huawei Massive MIMO. This technology guarantees the user experience for services that require high bandwidths such as 4K video, multi-angle video, and AR/VR services, and provide broadband services for families and SMEs.

MTN is the first in Africa to deploy the DSS technology on a 5G live network, which can dynamically adjust the spectrum in milliseconds based on 4G and 5G service requirements, maximising spectrum utilisation. 

Huawei CEO Spawn Fan

To enable wider 5G coverage, MTN uses dynamic spectrum sharing between 4G and 5G in the 2.1 GHz band. The 2.1 GHz spectrum can provide wider coverage due to its lower frequency spectrum characteristics. 

Huawei’s DSS (dynamic spectrum sharing) technology enables operators to quickly provide 5G services by upgrading existing 4G base stations to 5G without changing antennas and radio units.

The 5G technology is also expected to contribute significantly to the country’s economy and will play a role in the realisation of South Africa’s digital transformation goals. An excellent 5G network will enable us to provide more exciting services and to offer the ultimate service experience to MTN customers.

Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO of MTN South Africa

The millimeter-wave band has abundant spectrum resources and can provide a huge capacity to provide services for hotspots and home broadband. MTN uses 100 MHz millimeter wave spectrum resources to provide broadband resources for Enterprises and SMEs, which can enjoy high speed internet services and enter the digital age without requiring a fiber connection.

This is expected to greatly support people working remotely during this era of social distancing caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and will boost South Africa’s transition to a digital economy. We congratulate MTN on the successful upgrade of its network that enabled their transition to the 5G era. 

Huawei CEO Spawn Fan

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