MTN follows Wataniya with launch of HSDPA

MTN already offers customers the Sierra Wireless AC850 datacard, and a variety of other cards that offer HSDPA services will be available before launch.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  February 21, 2006

South African mobile operator MTN is on track to deliver commercial High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) services, according to local reports quoting Ashraff Paruk, general manager of business strategy, MTN South Africa. MTN achieved its first HSDPA call to corporate customers in November last year. "MTN has identified pilot sites to roll-out HSDPA and has kicked off the acquisition and infrastructure process. Gauteng is our key market at this stage," Paruk is quoted as saying. MTN already offers customers the Sierra Wireless AC850 datacard, and a variety of other cards that offer HSDPA services will be available before launch. The operator launched commercial 3G services last June, and more than 30% of MTN's sites offer EDGE. More than 800,000 handsets are in circulation. MTN's 3G network currently offers data speeds of up to 384 Kbps. Earlier this month Kuwait’s Wataniya Telecom opened its HSDPA network, making it the first operator in the Middle East and Africa region to offer mobile services beyond 3G. The solution, provided by Nokia, covers Kuwait and enables Wataniya to offer a wide range of services, among which are audio and visual services. This follows a supply agreement signed in May 2005.

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