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Finnish telecom gear maker Nokia and Vodacom have signed an MoU under which the companies will trial Nokia 5G technology to accelerate in South Africa.
The launch of the new technology will enable Vodacom to drive digitalization for the benefit of businesses and individuals in South Africa.
Nokia says that, it has a 5G portfolio that will allow operators to gain an early-to-market advantage in the delivery of ultra-fast mobile broadband services that leverage multi-Gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency.
Andries Delport, Vodacom Group Chief Technology Officers commented: "As the leading mobile network provider in South Africa, with the best 3G and 4G networks, it was crucial for us to partner a formidable player such as Nokia as we're gearing ourselves for the next generation of wireless networks, 5G. This collaboration comes at a time when we have a firm mandate from the Vodacom Board to propel Vodacom Group to become a leading digital company."
"It is my firm belief that the adoption of 5G will help us to deliver against some of the digital technologies in areas such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things. Quite crucially, Africa is in the middle of a mobile connectivity boom, and as such, 5G will help us to deliver faster internet speeds to our almost 70 million customers across the Group," Delport.
Initially the companies will focus on the delivery of Ultra-HD and virtual reality video services, leveraging the enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-low latency capabilities of 5G.
Both the compnaies will also collaborate to understand how 5G can drive continued economic growth in vertical industries important to South Africa including manufacturing, mining, healthcare, media, energy and transportation.
Nokia will leverage expertise from its Bell Labs Consulting arm to work with Vodacom and identify where, when and how to evolve its network to 5G.
Rajen Naidoo, head of Vodacom South Africa Cutomer Team at Nokia, said: "We have defined a technology path that allows operators to transition to 5G at their own pace. Working with Vodacom, we can help it identify how 5G can support growth in the country and the steps it should take in its own transition to best meet individual subscriber and enterprise needs.