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MTN and Ericsson have announced they will be partnering in conducting 5G technology and applications.

The announcement was made at the MTN headquarters in South Africa and the two companies said the first demonstration will be live within the Q1 of 2018. When that happens, it will be the first 5G technology trial in the continent of Africa.

MTN and Ericsson are reported to have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at last year’s AfricaCom. The terms of the MoU entails the two collaborating on the roll-out of 5G technology in South Africa; a first of its kind project in Africa.

The 5G trial the two are conducting is based on commercially available baseband hardware and they’re also supporting 5G mobility. The trial achieved a throughput of over 20Gbps with a latency of less than 5ms; the highest speeds ever to be achieve on a mobile service carrier in Africa.

The telecom has also been testing a range of 5G use cases and applications for the South African market, which will form the basis of commercial roll out of the technology in the near future. MTN has identified mining, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and utilities as among the first industries in need of digital transformation and would benefit immensely from the fast connectivity.

MTN and Ericsson want to demonstrate the potential of 5G technology in support of MTN South Africa enterprize monetization and market growth efforts.

In collaboration with our partners, we are continuously pushing the boundaries of how 5G can meet the diverse needs of our customers. 5G gives us the opportunity to rethink how our business can add further value to the lives of our customers,” said Babak Fouladi, the CTIO at MTN Group.

His counterpart, the VP and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Seckin Arikan, added: “Ericsson is the first to launch a 5G trial with MTN in Africa, supporting our strategy of delivering next-generation mobile broadband, cloud as well as providing support for massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployment.”

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