MTN and Ericsson have announced at the MTN headquarters in South Africa the first 5G technology and applications trial in Africa, which is part of a 5G demonstration starting in the first quarter of 2018.

This follows the signing by the two companies of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at AfricaCom 2017 to collaborate on the rollout of 5G technologies in South Africa, one of the first of its kind in Africa.

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 5G prototype radios and commercially available baseband hardware, and 5G mobility is supported. 

MTN has tested a range of 5G use cases and applications in its Test Lab proof of concept in South Africa, which will lead to commercial deployment in the near future.

MTN and Ericsson continue to collaborate on identifying 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industries such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities. MTN and Ericsson continue to demonstrate end-to-end 5G capabilities in support of MTN South Africa’s enterprise monetization and market growth ambitions.

Babak Fouladi, CTIO, MTN Group, says: “In collaboration with Ericsson 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.”

Seckin Arikan, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Ericsson is the first to launch a 5G trial with MTN in Africa, supporting our strategy of delivering next-generation mobile broadband, cloud as well as providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment.”

Speaking at the event, Chief Technology and Information Officer for MTN SA Giovanni Chiarelli, says 5G offers a whole new world of potential for South Africa and the continent.

“With 5G, remote healthcare through connected robots could offer world-class surgery in the most remote parts of the continent and the world. Self-driving cars could change the face of road safety, along with smart agriculture, smart mining and smart cities. There is no doubt that 5G 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.” – Communications Today Bureau 


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