MTN, Ericsson embark on a fixed-wireless 5G trial

19 Nov 2018

MTN South Africa and Ericsson have announced what they claim is ‘South Africa’s first 5G customer trial deployment with a fixed-wireless access site’ at technology company Netstar’s headquarters in Midrand. The 5G solution utilises 100MHz of bandwidth operating in the 28GHz band and uses Ericsson trial antenna integrated radio units and Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform providing Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in the customer premises. Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO MTN South Africa, said: ‘We have been working in close partnership with Ericsson on 5G for tests in the lab, field trials, and now initial customer test deployment … Our aim is to build a network to cater for current and future required services.’

Chiarelli noted that the current discussion regarding the imminent release of much-needed additional spectrum, should also include 5G spectrum in the primary 3.5GHz band: ‘ICASA has a great opportunity to get South Africa on par and in some instances, ahead of the international game, by allocating 5G spectrum at the same time as the additional 4G spectrum. The additional 4G spectrum will extend high speed internet access to all South Africans and will help to further drive down the cost of communication. Access to 5G spectrum will see our nation able to actively participate on the cutting edge of the digital economy and we cannot afford to fall behind the 4th Industrial Revolution.’

South Africa, Ericsson, MTN South Africa