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MTN, Ericsson Demonstrate 5G Mobility In Africa



Industry partners, MTN and Ericsson have demonstrated the live trail of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology in Africa on a moving vehicle with mounted terminals using 100MHz of spectrum in the 28GHz band.

The test- the first of its kind in Africa- conducted using a live feed from a car on a skid pan at the Gerotek testing facility in Pretoria, South Africa, allowed the audience to view the driver’s surroundings whilst moving around the track allowing them to experience what the driver was seeing, in real time.

The demonstration was then taken further by fully obscuring the driver’s windscreen, leaving him to navigate the track using the live feed from a 4K video camera to his VR headset. This was possible due to a throughput of more than 1.6Gbps and less than ~5ms latency on the connection – a record of mobile 5G performance on the continent.

The solution demonstrated, consisted of three radio units, baseband equipment, a 5G user equipment (UE) prototype with an external antenna, a vehicle with the UE installed, a 4K video camera and a VR Headset, demonstrating the performance of a low-latency network.

This is just one of the use cases that the partnership has released following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in November last year. This was followed by the launch of the first 5G trial in Africa in January 2018.

Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Rafiah Ibrahim said, “5G presents an opportunity for operators to improve their existing consumer businesses and address previously untapped value chains in the digitalization of industries. The collaboration between MTN South Africa and Ericsson has led to an exploration of a variety of use cases and applications for digital transformation of industries.”