Telkom Trying Massive MIMO to Bring Faster Broadband to South Africa

Massive MIMO uses large-scale antennas and beamforming to give each user precise coverage and high speeds even in crowded areas

Telkom Consumer CEO Mr Attila Vitai
Telkom Consumer CEO Mr Attila Vitai

Telkom has successfully concluded Africa’s first demonstration of 2.3GHz LTE TDD Massive MIMO (Advanced Multiple Antenna System), a pre-requisite for 5G connectivity.

As demand for mobile broadband services explodes, telecoms operators are faced with the need to get much more capacity from their limited spectrum. Massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology is the answer to this challenge.

Massive MIMO uses large-scale antennas and beamforming to give each user precise coverage and high speeds even in crowded areas

Massive MIMO will enable Telkom’s mobile customers to achieve data at a rate up to five times faster than current 4G technology. This will result in better throughput speeds and improved coverage, leading to a better overall experience for consumers.

This technology represents the next step in Telkom’s continuing network evolution, as the company continues to optimise mobile infrastructure to better serve consumers.

“Telkom is committed to investing in our network infrastructure so that we continue to improve the user experience and offer the best products on the market. This trial marks the first step towards advanced 4G networks and 5G networks,” said Attila Vitai, CEO of Telkom Consumer.

The demonstration was based on 2.3GHz TDD 20MHz bandwidth on Telkom’s network. The demo, conducted by Huawei, reached 909 Mbps at peak rate, showing improved spectrum efficiency and network coverage.

Telkom logo
Telkom logo (Photo Credit: CubeZoo)

Veni Shone, President of Huawei’s LTE Solution said: “It was a very exciting opportunity to work with Telkom to demonstrate this brand new wireless technology. Although services nowadays are more diverse and require higher network capacity to improve the user’s experience; we were able to deliver capacity using extremely simplified network architecture.  Massive MIMO is definitely playing a significant role in it to meet future network requirements.”

Telkom has already deployed LTE, LTE-A and 4 by 4 MIMO technology which enable our customers to get speeds of up to 600 Mbps. The next step is to introduce Massive MIMO technology which will result in significant increase in throughput speeds. Plans are already afoot for the deployment of massive MIMO this year.

Massive MIMO technology will enable Telkom to reuse existing sites to meet high data demand at a lower cost, rather than having to acquire and build new sites in dense areas. In turn, this will enable Telkom to offer larger data packages and more services at a reduced cost.



  1. Telkom tries a new technology and sells 2 year contracts which never provide anywhere near the promised bandwidth, then move on to the next technology, and then abandons those that signed up for the previous technology service.
    They never perfect any technology.

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