Ericsson, MTN conduct first 5G trial in Africa

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Following the recent MoU signing between Ericsson and MTN, at AfricaCom 2017, to collaborate on the rollout of 5G technologies in South Africa, the two companies have conducted their first 5G trial in Africa.

“MTN achieved a throughput of over 20Gbps with less than 5ms latency in the 5G trial, which is the highest achieved on a mobile network in Africa. The 5G trial is based on commercially-available baseband hardware and 5G mobility is supported,” Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO, MTN South Africa said while asserting that the tests will lead to the commercial deployment of 5G technologies soon.

Together MTN and Ericsson will 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,” said Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO, MTN South Africa, during AfricaCom 2017.

“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 added.

“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,” said 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 added.

Ericsson’s commitment to 5G

Ericsson announced that it signed agreements for credit facilities with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) for USD 220 million, maturing in 2023, and AB Svensk Exportkredit (SEK) for USD 150 million, maturing in 2025. Of these new funds, 98 million will replace credit with NIB that was set to mature in 2019.

In addition to strengthening Ericsson’s balance sheet and financial flexibility, these new funds support R&D activities to further develop 5G and other mobile innovations. Mobile networks are evolving to deliver superior mobile broadband and communication services with increased data rates, improved coverage, availability and quality that will open-up for new services and business opportunities.

Erik Ekudden, Ericsson Chief Technology Officer, says: “As part of our focused strategy we are increasing our investments to secure technology leadership in 5G, IoT and digital services. Already now we have 38 operators engaged with us on developing and preparing for 5G networks. This is more than any other company. In the coming years, we will see 5G networks going live around the world, with major deployments from 2020 and we believe that there will be one billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023. The technologies that we are investing in are fundamentally changing the way we innovate, collaborate, produce, live and do business.”

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