MTN, Microsoft trial 5G on Azure

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 20 Mar 2023

MTN has conducted a proof of concept for 5G stand alone core fully deployed in Microsoft Azure.

In a statement MTN say it is working with Microsoft to accelerate digital and cloud transformation to help drive Africa’s growth.

The mobile operator says the proof of concept was conducted with all of the 5G stand alone core elements including control plane, user plane and management nodes, deployed fully in the South Africa Azure Region.

It explains that 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.

The learnings drive a paradigm shift in network planning considering sustainability, commercial models, automation and disaster recovery, says the telco.

“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,” says Amith Maharaj, MTN group chief technology officer.

According to MTN, 5G has the ability to transform business and livelihoods beyond simple connectivity in Africa.

“Microsoft is equipping industry leaders with ubiquitous computing power to help them realise 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,” says Tad Brockway, corporate vice president Azure for operators, Microsoft.

MTN says it will use the proof of concept as a stepping stone to drive further innovation in the cloud domain as part of its PACE technology strategy to accelerate the execution of its Ambition 2025 and drive industry leading connectivity operations through technology platforms that are second to none.

It notes, as our group president and CEO Ralph Mupita has said, “Africa will surprise on 5G.” The continent stands at the cusp of an industrial evolution (Industry 4.0) enabled by 5G. Never has a technology been so eagerly anticipated.