MTN, one of South Africa's biggest networks, has claimed that the soon-to-be-released Apple iPhone 12's 5G capabilities will initially work exclusively on its network.
MTN, Vodacom and Rain have all rolled out 5G networks in select areas, and it seems like the company is implying that its competitors won't be allowed to offer 5G packages with the new iPhones.
“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.”
During this time, it appears no other network will be allowed to offer 5G with the iPhone. Although, this will then be allowed following the lapse in what appears to be MTN's exclusive deal.
Should you even bother, just for 5G?
The hype around the iPhone 12 extends well beyond its 5G capabilities but this is one of the reasons many are keen to get their hands on it.
Having a 5G-enabled phone seems like a smart future-looking prospect because once the effective roll-out is complete, you don't want to be stuck without access.
However, especially in South Africa, 5G roll-out is looking slow. So it's likely that you will need another phone before the real necessity for 5G really begins to be felt across the country.
As a result, if you're wanting to upgrade to the new iPhone 12 for other reasons then go for it, but holding out just for the 5G is a bit premature.