Megan Nicholas, Managing Director, MTN Supersonic.

Since launching AirFibre as an alternative solution to connect the unconnected in March last year, MTN SA’s Supersonic now covers more than 3.4 million households nationwide.

The company said in a statement that after delivering 10,759 homes in the first month after launching in March 2021, growth has accelerated to reach 3.1 million homes in one year. This continued, reaching more than 3.4 million in May this year, it added.

At the launch, Supersonic said AirFibre is bridging distance and lack of infrastructure in cities, towns and rural areas to bring quality fiber connectivity to more households across the country.

“We continue to see impressive growth as demand for AirFibre as an alternative to traditional fiber continues,” says Megan Nicholas, managing director of MTN Supersonic.

“Our goal is to continue to deliver and innovate so that more homes are covered and more people without access to fiber can connect to a high-speed, reliable data solution, and through it to the global information highway.”

From the original areas of Saweta, Mamelodi, Fairlands and Honeydew, Supersonic says coverage is now spreading across SA, crossing Cape Town, Greater Johannesburg and Pretoria to Gkeberhi, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and George.

“This geographic expansion continues as AirFibre deployment costs are significantly lower than conventional fiber thanks to MTN’s extensive network of mobile towers. We are particularly pleased to see strong growth in rural areas, which have traditionally struggled to access the digital world. With AirFibre, the modern digital world is now at their fingertips, opening up new opportunities for growth, streaming and play,” says Nicholas.

MTN notes that research by the International Telecommunication Union has shown that rural connectivity gaps are particularly pronounced in the least developed countries, where 17% of the rural population live in areas with no mobile coverage at all, and 19% of the rural population with only 2G network.

“While access to the Internet is a basic human right in most parts of the world, this is not the case in developing countries. MTN plans to change this by continuing to deploy solutions and services to bridge the digital divide, and the recent results of the AirFibre rollout show that we are doing just that,” says Nicholas.

According to MTN, AirFibre is the world’s first product of its kind using proprietary technology that provides a higher level of service.

It uses open spectrum frequencies, which lowers the cost of servicing customers, it explained, adding that users simply need to install an A4-sized antenna at home, which will then communicate with radio equipment connected to MTN’s cell tower.

“We are leveraging our comprehensive network and infrastructure and thinking outside the box to extend our reach to even more homes on SA’s best network. This also comes in tandem with our plan to rapidly expand our rural coverage in the second half of 2022, and we have even more exciting new growth opportunities ahead,” concludes Nicholas.

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