MTN in partnership with networking equipment provider Ericsson launched the first 5G trial in South Africa last November and found that the technology is at least 100 times faster than 4G
The group unveiled Africa’s quickest mobile download. This follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Ericsson at AfricaCom, an industry event in Cape Town, in late 2017 to collaborate on the roll-out of 5G.
5G innovation aims at higher capacity than current 4G‚ allowing a higher density of mobile broadband users‚ and supporting device-to-device‚ more reliable‚ and massive machine communications.
The research and development also aims at lower latency than 4G equipment and lower battery consumption‚ for better implementation of the internet.
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“This is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa,” MTN said in a statement.The 5G trial is based on commercially available baseband hardware and 5G mobility is supported, the group said.
“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,” a statement said.
The 5G trial has achieved download speeds of more than 20 gigabits per second in its first trial of fifth-generation (5G) technology.
“This is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa‚” the service provider said in a statement on Monday.
MTN Group chief technology and information officer Babak Fouladi said at a press conference at the operator’s Fairland, Johannesburg head office on Monday that its plan is to have everyone in South Africa connected to mobile broadband, including in rural areas. He said MTN will do this by building a ubiquitous 3G network covering the entire country, while offering the latest technologies based on 4G/LTE and — hopefully soon 5G — in urban areas.
However, MTN South Africa chief technology and information officer Giovanni Chiarelli emphasised that the operator is hamstrung in its roll-out plans until it can get access to additional radio frequency spectrum.
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