Comsol’s 5G network in Johannesburg – all the details

Comsol has partnered with Samsung to launch a live 5G pilot network on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Johannesburg.

The telecoms company leveraged its access to 28GHz spectrum in South Africa to deploy a fixed-wireless access network in the area.

Comsol activated the pilot network last week at a ceremony which drew attendance from several prominent public figures.

Samsung South Africa provided the end-to-end hardware solutions to deliver 5G connectivity to consumers, although many other telecoms providers partnered with Comsol to implement the network.

Initial tests performed on the live 5G network saw download speeds peak at 1.75Gbps, said the company.

To find out more about the 5G network in Soweto, MyBroadband spoke to Comsol marketing and sales chief Justin Colyn about the network’s architecture and accessibility.

Network architecture

Comsol’s pilot network comprises two 5G base stations with multiple radio antennae and multiple customer-premises equipment (CPE) devices spread across the area.

These base stations are connected via a fibre backhaul to Teraco, where MWEB has provided the Internet breakout for the duration of the trial.

“Fibre backhaul is used with E-Band microwave redundancy to ensure the solution is resilient and the end-user experience world-class,” Colyn said.

“Samsung Radio Antennae and CPEs create the wireless last-mile connection with users, connecting directly to enterprise-grade Cambium APs to once again ensure the end-user experience is world-class.”

For the duration of the trial, access points are distributed around various key points in Soweto, including:

  • Sakhumi’s
  • Makhelwane Billboard
  • Shakes Café
  • South West Gauteng College
  • Vilakazi Medical Centre
  • Makhedama Building

Comsol provided a map of the coverage area, pictured below. The blue circles are the 5G radio coverage areas and the yellow pins represent the access points.

Comsol 5G coverage

Accessing the 5G network

Colyn said these access points will provide free, high-quality Internet access to residents and visitors for the duration of the trial.

He also said that Comsol is working on developing low-latency product sets throughout the trial period.

“Access to the network is open to the public and is free of charge for the duration of the trial that will end by 31 November 2018.”

“This is a trial, so coverage, connectivity, and customers can change during the period,” Colyn added.

“Users connect to Cambium Access Points through Comsol’s free SSID – Comsol 5G.”

Now read: VAST Networks develops South Africa’s first carrier-grade offload network

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Comsol’s 5G network in Johannesburg – all the details