MTN and Ericsson have made an official announcement that it plans to roll out 5G technologies in South Africa and will be the first trial in Africa. Both companies will be collaborating to begin the first applications trial and it will be starting in the first quarter of the year.
This will be the first of its kind, a 5G trial launch in Africa. The goal is to provide support for a massive turnaround in technology infrastructure and to deploy Internet of Things.
Punch reported that “the 5G trial with MTN achieved a throughput of more than 20Gbps with less than 5ms latency, which is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa. The 5G trial is based on commercially available baseband hardware and 5G mobility is supported”.
A range of 5G use cases and applications were tested in South Africa and this is a strong signal that a commercial deployment is underway. MTN says that the company and its partners will continue to identify a range of such cases for the digital transformation of industries that need an advanced touch. Such industries include mining, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities.
If certain areas are transformed digitally, there would be a significant improvement in the quality of lives. Barak Fouladi, the Chief Technology and Information Officer of MTN Group said:
“In collaboration with our partners, we are continuously pushing the boundaries of how 5G can meet the diverse needs of our customers. 5G gives us the opportunity to rethink how our business can add further value to the lives of our customers.”
Giovanni Chiarelli, the Chief Technology and Information Officer for MTN South Africa posited that an advanced technology would likely change the face of a wide range of units in South Africa and by extension, Africa. With an advanced technology, there’s no doubt about offering a world-class surgery in the most remote parts of Africa, which will result in a significant reduction in mortality rate. In fact, the entire concept of having a smart-city will change the look of Africa. With electric cars, there will be less congestion in cities and a quality of air will be guaranteed, with a smart agriculture, it would likely boost the economy in different African countries and there will be reduced dependence on exported food products. He said in conclusion:
“There is no doubt that 5G will offer the consumer higher speeds and will offer the consumer higher speeds and lower latencies but to achieve this, we need the capacity that comes with additional spectrum thus once again we call on the government to urgently release the much-needed spectrum that is required in South Africa, to lower the cost of data and drive growth and development for all South Africans”.