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Ericsson and MTN claim African 5G first

MTN south africa

Ericsson has teamed up with operator MTN to undertake what they claim is the first 5G technology and applications trial in Africa.

The main aim seems to be to find useful things to do with 5G in a continent where many countries would be grateful for a decent level of 4G penetration. This project has been in the pipeline for some time, with the two companies even going so far as to demonstrate their mutual commitment via the signing of an MoU at AfricaCom 2017.

Of course it wouldn’t be a 5G trial without some nice, juicy metrics, so strap yourself in and get ready for a data deluge. The 5G prototype radio trial achieved a throughput of no less than 20 Gbps and a latency of 5 ms. How do you like them apples? MTN has been looking into a bunch of 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industries such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and utilities.

“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 deployment,” said Mahomed Essof, Country Manager, South Africa for Ericsson.

“With 5G, remote healthcare through connected robots could offer world-class surgery in the most remote parts of the continent and the world,” said Giovanni Chiarelli CTIO for MTN South Africa. “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.”

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