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27 Feb 2023

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Nokia Reaches New Deal to Provision 5G in South Africa

The Finnish company Nokia has focused on telco networking since selling its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2014. Generating almost $25 billion in annual revenue, the company is actively pursuing new 5G business in particular.

In that quest, Nokia just announced a new agreement with MTN South Africa to provision 5G networks throughout that country, Africa's second-largest economy after Nigeria. South Africa has one of the Top 10 highest mobile subscription rates in the world, more than 20% ahead of any other African nation in this category. It also has by far the continent's densest server infrastructure.

Nokia plans to modernize South Africa's existing 2G/3G/4G network and expand 5G – using its AirScale technology – across 2,800 sites in the central and eastern part of the country, according to the company.

Creating a Training Program, Too
Nokia is also establishing a training program to drive digitalization in the country and across the African continent. Open to 5,000 applicants, the program will focus on product development as well as developing entrepreneurship. The program is aligned with the Finnish National Agency of Education, and graduates will receive a diploma supporting further career opportunities.

In making the announcement, Michele Gamberini, MTN South Africa’s Chief Technology and Information Officer, said: “We need next-generation technologies to ensure that South Africa is a leader in the digital era across the African continent and globally. Our partnership with Nokia allows us to rapidly expand our 5G network (to) leverage the digital economy and reap the benefits of a modern connected life.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, added: “Our energy-efficient AirScale portfolio will improve the coverage and capacity of MTN’s network performance while contributing to reduced carbon emissions.”

Photograph of Pretoria, South Africa.

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