MTN South Africa’s Giovanni Chiarelli

MTN South Africa said on Friday that the 5G capabilities in the new Apple iPhone 12 models will only work on its network for a period of time running into next year.

It implied in a statement that other network operators, including its main rival, Vodacom, won’t be allowed to offer 5G services to iPhone 12 customers during this period. It’s understood that Vodacom’s 5G network hasn’t been “certified” by Apple. TechCentral has asked Vodacom for comment.

“Through rigorous 5G testing with Apple, MTN is proud to announce that, on launch, the Apple iPhone 12 will be enabled for 5G on the MTN network,” it said. “MTN will be the only network authorised to enable 5G on the new iPhone 12, from December 2020, into early 2021.”

The company’s chief technology & information officer, Giovanni Chiarelli, said: “MTN is honoured to be the only mobile network in South Africa enabled to support 5G on the Apple iPhone 12.”

It’s not immediately clear how Vodacom users with iPhone 12 devices will be prevented from accessing the operator’s 5G network, though it’s likely to be a setting in the operating system controlled remotely by Apple.

MTN said that it will begin selling the iPhone 12 models on 18 December, in line with statements from Vodacom and Core Group-owned Apple retailer iStore.  — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media


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