While MTN rolls out its 3G network across the country, its existing 2G network will continue to service its customers, and both networks need to work at their optimum level. 

The company has enlisted Aircom International to provide consulting services and a network quality benchmark for the next two years.
The contract involves drive-test benchmarking and analysis of network quality data (2G and 3G), enabling MTN to quickly identify areas of its network requiring further optimisation. The nationwide service will use RANOPT, Aircom's radio network optimisation and analysis tool to present the drive test results in accordance with MTN’s pre defined key performance indicators (KPIs) and customised requirements.
“South Africa is proving to be an extremely competitive region as regulatory changes shape the market and network technologies evolve.  MTN South Africa’s ability to fine tune its network using the findings and recommendations of our consultancy services is an excellent example of how AIRCOM is working closely with global operators to meet growing customer demand for improved network quality,” says Graham Kemp, MD of Aircom SA.  
“Our consultants have already driven more than 45 000km to collect data for network analysis, allowing MTN to identify areas for further improvement, while monitoring overall network performance in a more efficient manner," he adds.
According to a recent analyst report Africa is the fastest growing region in the global cellular market. Cellular connections passed 200-million in the first quarter of 2007 to reach a penetration rate of around 21%.
Strong opportunities for growth are expected in the various sub-regions of Africa. South Africa represents 94% of the installed base in southern Africa with a penetration rate of around 75% in 2006.
MTN owns and operates 21 GSM networks in Africa and the Middle East.