MTN conducts 5G standalone core in the cloud test

04 April 2023

MTN has conducted a proof-of-concept for a first-of-its-kind 5G standalone core which has been deployed via cloud computing platform, Microsoft Azure. MTN is working with Microsoft to accelerate digital and cloud transformation to help drive Africa’s growth.

The project allowed MTN to experience the benefits associated with deploying a core network in Azure including fast deployment time (days vs. months) and ease of scale.
“Being one of the first in the world to conduct this proof-of-concept demonstrates MTN’s desire to keep pushing the boundaries of technological innovation that delivers value to our shareholders,” said Amith Maharaj, MTN Group chief technology officer.

MTN Group is ramping up its rollout of 5G sites targeting a population coverage of 10-30% in the medium term, across the 17 markets it operates in across Africa and the Middle East.

“Microsoft is equipping industry leaders with ubiquitous computing power to help them realize the potential of 5G networks. With Azure, MTN can enrich its digital capabilities and enable organizations across industries to bring modern high-performance applications to their customers faster,” said Tad Brockway, corporate VP for Azure for operators at Microsoft.

The proof-of-concept was conducted using 5G standalone core elements including control plane, user plane and management nodes, deployed fully in the South Africa Azure Region.

The partnership reinforces both organizations’ cloud communications, roaming, and IoT ambitions. It will accelerate the digital transformation of communication services across Africa, particularly focused on the trust and authenticity of each interaction and dialogue.