In an era where connectivity is synonymous with opportunity, MTN has embarked on an ambitious mission to connect the unconnected and eliminate the digital divide in Africa. According to the ITU/UNESCO’s ‘2022 State of Broadband Report,’ less than a quarter of sub-Saharan African households have internet access, highlighting a pressing issue.
MTN holds the conviction that everyone deserves the advantages of digital connectivity. The company’s determination to address this challenge is underscored by their commitment to closing the digital gap, a task aligned with their overarching goal of enabling inclusive growth.
Mazen Mroue, MTN Group’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, emphasizes the transformative power of world-class connectivity. He asserts that collaboration with partners is integral to their success in ensuring that remote and rural areas are not left behind.
In 2022, MTN made significant strides, extending their broadband coverage to encompass an additional 54 million individuals within their operational scope. The expansion of their broadband network coverage to 87.8% of the population is a substantial achievement, inching closer to the 95% coverage target set for 2025.
An essential aspect of their strategy is the rollout of rural sites. With 1,669 new sites established in 2022, MTN extended coverage to 30.8 million people in rural areas, a commendable increase from previous years. Leveraging collaboration with specialist partners and adopting OpenRAN technology, the company has streamlined and expedited their rollout process.
Mroue acknowledges the importance of OpenRAN technology, allowing for a diversified ecosystem that drives innovation and cost reduction. The company is also exploring low-earth-orbit satellite connectivity to complement their terrestrial network, furthering their commitment to universal connectivity.
MTN’s efforts extend beyond mere connectivity; they are keenly focused on improving access to information and services. Mroue notes that rural communities are already reaping the benefits of enhanced coverage, utilizing tools like Mobile Money (MoMo) to facilitate digital and financial inclusion.
Aligned with their ‘Ambition 2025’ initiative of “Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress,” MTN is steadfast in its resolve to fuel Africa’s mobile internet revolution. With challenges ahead, their dedication to connecting the unconnected and unlocking boundless opportunities remains unwavering.