JOHANNESBURG - Nokia said on Monday it has been selected by MTN South Africa for the first time ever as one of its 5G radio access network equipment providers, as the mobile carrier expands next-generation wireless services across the country.

"Under the deal, Nokia will modernise the existing 2G, 3G, 4G radio network and expand MTN's 5G radio network across 2,800 sites in the central and eastern part of the country," Nokia said in a statement. Nokia did not give financial details of the deal.

MTN South Africa, the second biggest carrier in the country, snapped up airwaves worth 5.2 billion rand ($282.66 million) in a 14.4 billion rand spectrum auction in March last year. Even before the auction it had launched 5G services in select cities. ($1 = 18.3964 rand)

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla. Editing by Jane Merriman)