Comsol Networks, a local telecommunications company, is collaborating with Verizon and Samsung to launch 5G wireless trials in South Africa.
5G is widely considered to be the next step in the evolution of wireless networking and has the potential to connect millions of South Africans with high-speed connectivity, faster than 4G, with extremely low latency and high levels of resilience.
The implementation of this new infrastructure aims to change the way consumers communicate and experience online services. The goal is for it to rival “FTTx” offerings, like fibre to the business and fibre to the home, by early 2019. The 5G fine-tuned wireless access will allow millions of South Africans to connect with high-speed connectivity instead of using fibre solutions.
While the official standards for 5G are not yet ratified by the International Telecommunication Union, the relationship will focus on developing and jointly testing the technology so it’s ready for commercial launch once the standards have been confirmed.
“In early trials in the US, Verizon has shown the potential of the 28GHz millimetre spectrum, which has been identified for 5G services by the country’s Federal Communications Commission,” said Comsol CEO, Iain Stevenson.
Comsol stated that this will be achieved by utilizing the ‘pre-5G’ proprietary standard from Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum (5GTF), which will ultimately be converted into the 5G New Radio (5GNR) standards once they have been confirmed.
Sung Yoon, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics Africa, said in a statement about the collaboration between the companies that there is “so much opportunity in the region due to the diversity of markets and services already in place here, and we think South Africa is a prime candidate to show off the benefits that 5G can bring to consumers here”.
“While this agreement initially focuses on 5G fixed-wireless access, over time this will evolve into consumer offerings, similar to the way that we use 4G services today.”
Comsol will remain an open-access infrastructure player, working through wholesale open-access network providers, Internet service providers, systems integrators, resellers and channel partners, it said.
By Daniëlle Kruger
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