Huawei recently partnered with Digital Council Africa to host a series of 5G training and education sessions.
Delivered to an audience made up of council members and industry representatives, the sessions focused on 5G’s potential – and sought to address some of the myths and concerns around it.
The need for sessions like these is evident when one considers the rapidly accelerating roll-out of 5G technology. Currently more than 169 commercial 5G networks have been deployed in 70 countries and it’s clear that the ecosystem is rapidly maturing. For example, in China, more than 68% of smartphones shipped in 2020 were 5G-capable phones. More than 200 5G modules and industrial devices are already available, with these supporting 5G application in a broad range of industries.
5G offers new and advanced opportunities to improve efficiencies and create new value throughout vertical industries. In smart ports, smart mining and smart transport, 5G’s high-bandwidth and low-latency transmission are kicking off a revolution in operational efficiencies, characterized by a shift from onsite operations to remote control and a remarkable reduction of business costs.
“There is no doubt that 5G’s high download speeds, low latency and high levels of robustness have the potential to fundamentally change the way we live, work and do business,” says Digital Council Africa CEO Juanita Clark. “Given that Huawei is a global leader in the deployment and roll-out of 5G technologies, Huawei was an ideal partner for our education sessions.”
Among the topics covered by the sessions were the fundamentals of 5G; clarifying the myths around 5G; the importance of spectrum to 5G’s deployment; the real-world applications of 5G; and the link between 5G policies and economic recovery and development.
“In the near future, the capabilities of government, private industry and entertainment will be greatly enhanced by leveraging 5G technology,” says Bello Moussa, head of innovation and ICT strategies at Huawei, who presented one of the sessions. “To ensure that happens, it’s pivotal that there’s as wide an understanding of 5G as possible, especially among the people responsible for putting together the policy that will influence its roll-out.”
As Marius Engelbrecht, senior strategy consultant at Huawei, points out, part of this means addressing the myths around 5G.
“Over the past year or so, we’ve seen a number of dangerous myths around 5G. While the ones around Covid-19 have largely died down, we still need to clarify the related health worries,” he says.
In his session, Engelbrecht also emphasised the need for networks to start planning for the evolution of architecture as soon as possible.
“Being both people-centred and things-orientated, 5G connections will not only provide excellent user experiences, but also allow industries to optimize production modes for higher energy efficiency and improved working environments, while also delivering on the commitment to sustainable development,” says Clark. “If South Africa is to reap those benefits, it needs everyone to understand, and get on board with 5G as soon as possible.”