South African operator MTN has entered into a deal with City Power, Johannesburg’s main electricity supply agency, to begin replacing its streetlight infrastructure with lampposts that double as cellular base transceiver stations (BTS) in areas where its 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage needs improvement, TechCentral reports. Eben Albertyn, chief technology officer at MTN SA, revealed that the cellco has already deployed two towers in the suburb of Bryanston, with more than 100 BTS to follow in Bryanston, Sandton, Woodmead, Northcliff, Westcliff, Kyalami and Fairland before Christmas.
Further, the executive noted that, following the deal, MTN is entitled to replace approximately 110,000 of City Power’s lampposts throughout greater Johannesburg, which will significantly improve its coverage in the region; the operator is also in discussions with other municipalities with a view to extending the project to other cities. The executive added that residents should be ‘assured that MTN has gone through all the proper channels to make sure it has obtained and is compliant with all health and safety regulations, as well as by-laws – both at a council and a national level’. Mr Albertyn said that the project will also play an important part in MTN’s ongoing plan to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure in South Africa.