MTN South Africa has announced LTE network plans and says it expects to have 400–500 LTE sites live by the end of 2012. CTO Kanagaratnam Lambotharan said the mobile operator already has 250 sites ready to go, and it's aiming to launch in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban. It's also looking at Cape Town, he added, but said that there are some challenges to refarming the spectrum needed to roll out LTE there. This might result in Cape Town not receiving a full 2x10MHz carrier in the 1,800MHz band MTN is re-farming, Lambotharan said. According to MyBroadband, the investment in LTE forms part of more than ZAR 5 billion MTN is spending on its network in SA this year. This includes aggressive investment in the company's 3G network. So far in 2012, MTN has deployed 696 new 3G sites, with a target of reaching as many as 1,176 by the end of the year. That compares to 598 new 3G base stations in 2011. The company has also deployed a total of 317 3G base stations in the 900MHz band, covering parts of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. As part of the focus on 3G and 4G, MTN is stepping up its roll-out of its own fibre infrastructure to connect its base stations. It now has over 1,000 base stations connected to its own fibre. 3G population coverage has reached about 65 percent, Lambotharan says, adding that the operator wants this to reach 80-85 percent by the end of 2013.