MTN, Africa's largest mobile network operator, has carried out a Proof of Concept (PoC) for a first-of-its-kind 5G Standalone (SA) Core fully deployed in Microsoft Azure. MTN says it is working with Microsoft to accelerate digital and cloud transformation, intending to boost growth in Africa.
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Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and service provided by Microsoft. The platform offers a wide range of cloud-based services, such as virtual machines, storage, databases, analytics, and machine learning, among others. Azure enables users to build, deploy, and manage applications and services on a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
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PoC with all 5G Standalone Core elements
According to the statement by MTN Group, The proof of concept was conducted with all of the 5G Standalone Core elements, including the control plane (CP), user plane (UP) and management nodes, deployed entirely in the South Africa Azure Region. The PoC 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'. In addition, the learnings from the PoC help drive a paradigm shift in network planning considering sustainability, commercial models, automation and disaster recovery.
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MTN Group is currently increasing the deployment of 5G sites in line with its PACE strategy, with the aim of achieving a medium-term population coverage of 10% to 30%.
"By being among the first in the world to carry out this proof of concept, MTN is showcasing its commitment to pushing the limits of technological innovation while also creating value for its shareholders," said MTN.