Ericsson and MTN announced on Thursday 9 November 2017 that the first 5G trial in South Africa is set to start to start in the first quarter of 2018. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at AfricaCom 2017 in Cape Town which will see the two companies collaborate on the rollout of 5G technologies in South Africa, making it one of the first in Africa to have the network.
Ericsson provides end-to-end 5G capabilities in support of MTN South Africa’s growth, 5G and enterprise monetisation ambitions. MTN will trial a range of 5G use cases and applications in its Test Bed (laboratory) proof of concept in South Africa, leading to commercial deployment in the future.
MTN and Ericsson will collaborate to demonstrate the potential of 5G in South Africa. Together they will aim to identify 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industry verticals such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.
“5G gives us the opportunity to rethink our business and address previously untapped value chains. The new technology opens up new opportunities in new ecosystems,” says Giovanni Chiarelli, Chief Technology and Information Officer, MTN South Africa.
“In collaboration with Ericsson, we are continuously testing, learning and pushing the boundaries of how 5G can meet the diverse needs of our customers in the future. We’re developing 5G technology based on real business needs,” he says.
“Not only does Ericsson have the most signed telecom operator MoUs in the industry, but we are now the first to launch a 5G initiative with MTN in Africa,” says Seckin Arikan, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN at Ericsson Middle East and Africa.
“This supports our strategy of delivering next-generation mobile broadband, cloud and providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment. This initiative also enables new industry use cases thanks to increased throughput and reduced latency,” he concluded.