Comsol is getting ready to launch a 5G network in South Africa, where it will initially offer fixed-wireless services to show what the technology is capable of.
This is according to sources who told MyBroadband the company is expected to launch its 5G network within weeks.
The launch follows an announcement by Comsol in May 2018 that it had partnered with Verizon and Samsung to launch 5G fixed-wireless trials in South Africa.
5G is the next evolution of wireless networking with a big improvement in speed and latency when compared to current 4G networks.
5G is expected to change the way that businesses and individuals communicate, paving the way for the likes of self-driving cars and smart connected cities.
Comsol will launch its 5G network using the “pre-5G” proprietary standard from Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum (5GTF).
Verizon, in partnership with Samsung, started deploying a 5G network in the United States in early 2017 and delivered fixed-wireless access to customers.
The company’s 5G trials included the use of 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum and advanced beam-forming antenna technology.
Samsung’s 5G system demonstrated multi-gigabit throughputs at radio distances of up to 500 meters across each of the different environments selected for the customer trials.
The Samsung 5G system is designed to be upgradable to support 3GPP standards for New Radio and Next-Generation Core, once available.
Comsol CEO Iain Stevenson previously said their access to a large chunk of the 28GHz band in South Africa positions it well to take advantage of 5G.
He said their 5G trial will lay the foundation for a wireless solution that rivals “FTTx” offerings, including fibre-to-the-business and fibre-to-the-home, by early 2019.
Comsol was asked for details about its planned 5G launch, but the company did not respond by the time of publication.
Comsol’s big backers
While Comsol is not a household name in the telecommunications market, it is a two-decade old company with a well-established network footprint.
It is backed by big investors, including Convergence Partners, Nedbank Private Equity, and the Industrial Development Corporation.
It is known for building customised terrestrial wireless access infrastructure, but in recent years it expanded its portfolio to include a wide range of connectivity solutions.
The company’s entrance into the 5G market will further grow its product offerings and lift its prominence in the business and consumer markets.