Krishna Chetty, MTN SAKrishna Chetty, MTN SA

The evolution to next-generation wireless technology long-term evolution (LTE) is in full force, and SA’s operators are allocating increasingly more resources to develop their networks and try keep up with the global shift.

, which was first to the table with an offering in October 2012, is going to divulge more on its plans later this month, at the company’s full-year results.

In the meantime, spokesperson notes usage is steadily increasing, as more -capable devices enter the market.

commercially launched its 1 800MHz service on 10 October 2012 with 70 base stations in Johannesburg. The operator currently has around 900 base stations.

, which followed with its launch about a month after its red rival, says it has continued rolling out in most areas where re-farming 1 800MHz spectrum is possible.

, GM of radio planning and optimisation at SA, says the operator’s network covers over three million people, and coverage is still growing. He says has a few hundred thousand subscribers provisioned on its network.

The speeds achievable on the network, says Chetty, are up to 73Mbps on the downlink and up to 36Mbps on the uplink.

Mobile’s service was commercially launched last year, on 21 April. The operator currently has close to 1 000 integrated sites. Coverage is concentrated in the metros of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

is deploying 2.1GHz . On 19 December 2012, a pre-commercial trial service for selected heavy data users began in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria.