The digital world is evolving, and South Africa’s regulatory and network landscape will need to change to keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution.
This is according to Huawei Carrier Business principal consultant Nigel Bruin, who was speaking at the 2019 MyBroadband Conference.
Bruin said that the development of 5G technology would enable the digital future for South Africa, and it was crucial for enterprises to work together to build the infrastructure and solutions required.
“5G was engineered to deliver this next industrial revolution, and we are going to develop and deploy those solutions over the next five years,” he said.
He noted that the deployment of 5G would not result in the death of older technologies, however, stating that both 4G and fibre were crucial for the development of these solutions.
Bruin said that 5G and 4G would co-exist for a long time, stating that a top-quality LTE network was necessary for an effective 5G deployment.
He added that one of the biggest challenges in developing a network to enable the fourth industrial revolution was the requirement for the industry to work together.
Bruin said there are a number of key steps which must be followed to enable South Africa to keep pace with the fourth industrial revolution:
- Optimise ICT policy
- Activate content ecosystem
- Urban fibre network
- Improved site construction
- Skills development
The deployment of 5G and high-speed, low-latency broadband in urban South Africa will require the expansion of fibre networks and the establishment of far more base stations than currently exist.
This requires industry players to work together with regulators to enable the allocation of required spectrum and infrastructure sharing policies.
A coordinated plan is required to deploy a large-scale 5G network, with governments and mobile networks working together to ensure the best possible solution.