MTN and Huawei have unveiled what they call Africa’s first 5G field trial with an end-to-end Huawei 5G solution.
The field trial demonstrated a 5G fixed-wireless access use case with Huawei’s 5G 28GHz millimetre-wave technology in a “real-world” environment in Hatfield, Pretoria.
It achieved speeds of 520Mbit/s on the downlink and 77Mbit/s on the uplink, it said.
MTN’s group chief technology and information systems officer Babak Fouladi said the trial provided MTN with valuable insight into how much work there is still left to do before 5G is switched on.
“These 5G trials provide us with an opportunity to future proof our network and prepare it for the evolution of these new generation networks. We have gleaned invaluable insights about the modifications that we need to do on our core, radio and transmission network from these pilots. It is important to note that the transition to 5G is not just a flick of a switch, but it’s a roadmap that requires technical modifications and network architecture changes to ensure that we meet the standards that this technology requires. We are pleased that we are laying the groundwork that will lead to the full realisation of the boundless opportunities that are inherent in the digital world,” he said.
Fouladi’s colleague in MTN’s South African operation, Giovanni Chiarelli, said some of the applications for 5G include virtual and augmented reality, ultra-high-definition video streaming, and cloud gaming.
“The use of millimeter-wave spectrum bands is one of the key 5G enabling technologies to deliver the required capacity and massive data rates required for 5G’s Enhanced Mobile Broadband use cases. MTN and Huawei’s joint field trial of the first 5G mmWave Fixed-Wireless Access solution in Africa will also pave the way for a fixed-wireless access solution that is capable of replacing conventional fixed access technologies, such as fibre, ” Chiarelli said.
Edward Deng, President of Wireless Network Product Line of Huawei added that Huawei is continuing to invest heavily in innovative 5G technologies.
“5G mmWave technology can achieve unprecedented fiber-like speed for mobile broadband access. This trial has shown the capabilities of 5G technology to deliver exceptional user experience for Enhanced Mobile Broadband applications. With customer-centric innovation in mind, Huawei will continue to partner with MTN to deliver best-in-class advanced wireless solutions,”he concluded.