Interest to invest on 5G in Africa is on the rise

    Adam Lane, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Huawei Southern Africa

    Africa’s readiness to embrace the super-fast technology dubbed 5G is steadily proving to be on the rise following the recent sustained innovation in enterprises said Adam Lane, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Huawei Technologies Africa.

    According to Lane, another opportunity for Africa to leapfrog is in the offing following the steady interest particularly by enterprises to invest on 5G, the latest generation mobile communications standard that will enable faster speeds, more devices to be connected, and less latency.

    Speaking during the CIO Year Ahead Forum themed: Driving Innovations in Organizations Lane stated that 5G is lined to use spectrum more efficiently and ideally with much less energy.

    “While there will be many uses particularly in entertainment and manufacturing industry, one of the key uses for Africa may be in Fixed Wireless Access, in other words enabling fiber speeds wirelessly saving time and money connecting users to fiber,” Lane said.

    Investing on 5G will be gradual but steady considering that many developed countries or regions have created 5G strategies and issued policies which make relevant spectrum and infrastructure available, as they expect the technology to make major contributions to their economies in the future said Lane.

    Initial industries that will use 5G are the media, entertainment, education and retail; but others such as healthcare and transport will be major users too. Initially the focus will be on higher speeds, and later on more uses will focus on the larger number of connections and lower latencies (especially robotics and transport).

    At the moment 5G involves many new innovations in air interface, but will be rolled out on top of 4G with many operators continuing to use 4G infrastructure as part of their 5G networks rather than pure (Stand-Alone) 5G. It will be important for there to be enough spectrum (in large contiguous blocks) made available for mobile operators, and at reasonable costs so they have the funding to invest in the actual network roll-out and services.

    Huawei being the undisputed global leader in 5G with a complete, fully developed suite of products from the core to transport, radio and devices is working with more than 50 operators globally trialing 5G and signed more than 30 commercial contracts so far Adam said.

    He asserted that 5G is much more secure than 4G with 256bit encryption and has the capacity within the network of slicing to uphold different services at one go. Just like 4G, the 5G core and radio are separate. Huawei has been at the forefront of global standards related to 5G and especially those related to security to ensure the highest standards.

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