MTN South Africa and Ericsson have announced the first 5G customer trial deployment in South Africa starting with a fixed wireless access site at technology company Netstar’s headquarters in Midrand.
Following the field deployment, MTN is planning to test other 5G use cases, it said in a statement on Thursday (15 November).
The Ericsson 5G solution deployed operates on 28 GHz band with a total operating bandwidth of 100 MHz using Ericsson trial antenna integrated radio units and Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform providing Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in the customer premises.
Many of the Netstar employees can also connect to this trial 5G network through the different WiFi access points.
Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO MTN South Africa noted that the current discussion regarding the imminent release of much-needed additional spectrum, should also include 5G spectrum in the primary 3.5 GHz band.
“Icasa has a great opportunity to get South Africa on par and in some instances, ahead of the international game, by allocating 5G spectrum at the same time as the additional 4G spectrum. The additional 4G spectrum will extend high speed internet access to all South Africans and will help to further drive down the cost of communication.
“Access to 5G spectrum will see our nation able to actively participate on the cutting edge of the digital economy and we cannot afford to fall behind the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he said.
In addition to facilitating the delivery of next-generation mobile broadband, cloud and providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment, this collaboration will also enable new industry use cases thanks to increased throughput and reduced latency.