MTN and Ericsson signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at AfricaCom 2017 to collaborate on the rollout of 5G technologies on the continent, beginning in South Africa. In light of this, MTN and Ericsson have announced the first 5G technology and applications trial 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 inAfrica. The 5G trial is based on 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 its partners continue to identify the use of 5G in cases or scenarios 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 monetisation and market growth ambitions.

Giovanni Chiarelli, chief technology and information officer for MTN SA, 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.”

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