Vodacom and Nokia to trial 5G in South Africa

Nokia has announced that it will partner with South African mobile operator Vodacom to support Vodacom’s objective of being the first to launch 5G in South Africa.

The companies have announced that they will sign an agreement to jointly conduct lab and network trials of new services and business cases using Nokia 5G technology, with a focus on bringing benefits of digitalisation to industries such as healthcare, energy and manufacturing and consumer services.

Nokia said it has a 5G portfolio that will allow operators to gain an early-to-market advantage in the delivery of ultra-fast mobile broadband services that leverage multi-Gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency.

Working with Vodacom in a series of workshops and trials, Nokia will share its latest 5G innovations including massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas, AirScale Radio Access, AirGile Cloud-native Core, Multi-Access Edge Computing, and end-to-end Mobile Anyhaul transport networks to test how they can be used to meet ever-changing demand in the country.

Initially the companies will focus on the delivery of Ultra-HD and virtual reality video services, leveraging the enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-low latency capabilities of 5G.

Vodacom and Nokia will also collaborate to understand how 5G can drive continued economic growth in vertical industries important to South Africa including manufacturing, mining, healthcare, media, energy and transportation, Nokia said.

Andries Delport, Vodacom Group chief technology officer said that the adoption of 5G will help the operator to deliver digital technologies in areas such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things.

“Quite crucially, Africa is in the middle of a mobile connectivity boom, and as such, 5G will help us to deliver faster internet speeds to our almost 70 million customers across the Group,” he said.

Read: Icasa outlines plans for 5G rollout in South Africa

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Vodacom and Nokia to trial 5G in South Africa