Huawei South Africa chief strategy architect Miguel Geraldes has outlined how the rollout of 5G in South Africa could enable greater fibre coverage.
Speaking at the 2018 MyBroadband Conference, Geraldes stated that the number of additional fibre connections required to enable 5G networks could support improved fibre-to-the-home connectivity across the country.
“5G will not replace fibre,” Geraldes said. “There is actually huge synergy between the two technologies.”
He said that this was partly influenced by the reduction in coverage area per 5G site, requiring additional fibre connections to more base stations.
“We are expecting in 5G a radio network range decrease from 800m to 300m,” Geraldes said. “What that means is that a fibre connection is required at all of the sites.”
“A wide range of fibre deployment is required for 5G deployment,” he added. “This will be a huge opportunity for South Africa to deploy fixed broadband at a larger scale.”
He explained that the additional fibre coverage required could be used to provide connectivity to South African homes in areas that would otherwise not receive fibre connectivity.
This could dramatically increase the number of fibre-connected South Africans by 2021.
Geraldes said that Huawei’s deployment strategies for network infrastructure are tailored to developing markets and can be implemented very quickly.
“Our customised solutions for fast developing markets can be rolled out extremely quickly and efficiently, and we have a dedicated plan which can provide profitable coverage in rural areas,” he said.
“I’m very enthusiastic as to how South Africa can catch up to more developed countries. I think the introduction of 5G will accelerate the process.”