5G is not a network — Andile Ngcaba

Jamie McKane

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5G is not a network — Andile Ngcaba

The first thought that comes to mind when you talk about 5G technology should not be "network". That’s the opinion of Andile Ngcaba, the founder and chair of Convergence Partners.

"5G is not about spectrum. 5G is not a network," Ngcaba said at an Absa Insights event in Sandton recently. The event was hosted in collaboration with FTTx Council Africa and Digitalthings. Ngcaba is also the chair of FTTx Council Africa.
 

access

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“5G is cloud native. It is born in the cloud. The workloads are born the cloud. The radio access network is virtualised,” Ngcaba told MyBroadband.
what?
 

Thor

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Its a real pity MyBroadband has a policy to never quote Paul Hjul. He has been saying the core underlying message appearing in this article for months now, often when he is overseas:

https://www.mobileworldlive.com/featured-content/home-banner/experts-offer-diverging-views-on-5g-rollout-strategies/

but also when he puts walls of text on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/update-from-denver-what-needed-said-mwc-wasnt-3g-product-paul-hjul/

And this is the problem: Whereas the original GSM technology era envisaged a world in which a telecommunications company would raise capital and secure equipment from vendors, license spectrum from the regulator for a suitable fee, and deliver network infrastructure on which a fairly mundane but highly valued service would be delivered, this is no more. The field has changed. 3G was a product suite for carriers; 5G is an ecosystem.”

So rather than MyBroadband reporting on what South African’s are doing internationally in the 5G space as it happens, we get garbled reporting eighteen months too late.
 
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Daruk

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I want what he's smoking.

Perhaps he just forgot about the physical infrastructure lol. Certainly it will allow a greater bent towards virtual provisioning, but it's about hardware and spectrum too.

 
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Stevewarren

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That made my head hurt. All the things his talking about relies on the bloody NETWORK.
 

genetic

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That was hard to read. Fool clearly knows nothing about the technology.
 

Chris.Geerdts

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Andile is no fool and he knows a lot about network. I think there are short, medium and long term opportunities in 5G, and he's talking about the longer term. His short-term developments seem to be around the core and cloudification, which is, IMO, not specific to 5G.
 

Daruk

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Andile is no fool and he knows a lot about network. I think there are short, medium and long term opportunities in 5G, and he's talking about the longer term. His short-term developments seem to be around the core and cloudification, which is, IMO, not specific to 5G.
Either he couldn't articulate what he meant or it went over the journo's head then. 5G is not about spectrum? Really??
 

Swa

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Yeah I don't know. Lots of words saying nothing.
 

Stevewarren

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Andile is no fool and he knows a lot about network. I think there are short, medium and long term opportunities in 5G, and he's talking about the longer term. His short-term developments seem to be around the core and cloudification, which is, IMO, not specific to 5G.
Unless it was reported out of context only a fool thinks that there will be any long term without the basic infrastructure needed which definitely includes spectrum.
Maybe in a country not run by incompetents those facts can be taken for granted but not here.
 

km2

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This is a fantasy that is pushed by analysts and plays into the desire telecom companies have to be more than just "dumb pipes" so they can extract value from higher up the chain.

Sadly for them any platform built directly on top of a telecom companies specific network would have such a limited market (limited to one country and within their coverage), so even if they can provider a slightly better dedicated service, companies are heavily incentivised to just build towards the lowest common denominator of a dumb Internet-connected data network.
 
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dominic

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Either he couldn't articulate what he meant or it went over the journo's head then. 5G is not about spectrum? Really??
very clever man who knows the industry extremely well
i think it is more about fibre than spectrum tbh and that this is more about the challenges facing the MNOs into the future
 

JustAsk

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He's right. I don't know what's with all this knee jerk responses.

He's saying 5G is a platform as it is different than its predecessors. There will be different networks operating within the platform. He uses Uber/Airbnb as examples for context...they are the platform, enabling different people to setup their own business on the platform. Because of the different nature of 5G and the huge bandwidth it promises, many networks can be virtualized on it.

See his quote. Bolded parts are my inserts
“Platform models and platform economics (like Uber/Airbnb) are different to network models (like a private taxi network)” said Ngcaba.
If you have 20 taxis on Uber, you have just setup your own network on a platform.
 

Swa

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He's right. I don't know what's with all this knee jerk responses.

He's saying 5G is a platform as it is different than its predecessors. There will be different networks operating within the platform. He uses Uber/Airbnb as examples for context...they are the platform, enabling different people to setup their own business on the platform. Because of the different nature of 5G and the huge bandwidth it promises, many networks can be virtualized on it.

See his quote. Bolded parts are my inserts

If you have 20 taxis on Uber, you have just setup your own network on a platform.
So still exactly the same as everything before it. The network (and spectrum) is still the core, nothing changes that.

I know what he's trying to say the same as the lightning remark but the way he's saying it is just nonsensical and will indeed hamper all those things if taken even remotely seriously.
 

Daruk

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He's right. I don't know what's with all this knee jerk responses.

He's saying 5G is a platform as it is different than its predecessors. There will be different networks operating within the platform. He uses Uber/Airbnb as examples for context...they are the platform, enabling different people to setup their own business on the platform. Because of the different nature of 5G and the huge bandwidth it promises, many networks can be virtualized on it.

See his quote. Bolded parts are my inserts

If you have 20 taxis on Uber, you have just setup your own network on a platform.
The business model is different, the infrastructure is still physical. You can't ignore the physical just because the resale / provisioning model is different.
 

Stevewarren

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Because of the different nature of 5G and the huge bandwidth it promises, many networks can be virtualized on it.
There is no huge bandwidth without the network. I think we all know what his saying but it all means nothing if there's no infrastructure. So yes there is a network and yes spectrum is critical. So saying it isn't is idiotic.
 
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