The full network deployment is set to start in the first quarter of 2019, and services are expected to launch mid-2019 when standards-based 5G NR devices become available in the country. Photo: Supplied.
The full network deployment is set to start in the first quarter of 2019, and services are expected to launch mid-2019 when standards-based 5G NR devices become available in the country. Photo: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN – Nokia in partnership with mobile operator Rain are planning to launch a 5G site for the South African market. 

The launch and rollout are well aligned with the government’s strategy to connect the unconnected and improve the lives of citizens in SA.

It also forms part of Rain’s main objective to provide affordable broadband internet to the masses in South Africa.

In an interview with Business Report, Deon Geyser and Joachim Wuilmet from Nokia discussed the importance of 5G and what advantages it can bring for the average consumer in SA.

Joachim Wuilmet, the Head of Customer Marketing at Nokia said, "If you look back at previous generations of cellular technology, 2G brought digital voice with SMS, 3G bought the first data experiences and 4G brought the mobile internet and this standard was designed with people's experience in mind

"What 5G brings is the next generation of technology for consumers and designed to also serve industries and enable the Internet of Things (IoT). 

"5G promises to enable faster speeds, massive connectivity, decade-long battery life for sensors and super-responsive and reliable networks for customers. 5G will change the game by improving on latency so that consumers can experience faster responses from networks in a matter of milliseconds and use better applications."

Deon Geyer, Head of the Southern Africa Sub-Region at Nokia said, "5G needs the right spectrum bands in order to run and if you look at the current ecosystem in all the countries, the spectrum landscapes look different for all the various players.

"Last year Nokia signed a 5G MoU with Vodacom at AfricaCom, we showcased the first demonstration of 5G in Africa and we have been working with them on various spectrum bands

"However, Rain at the moment has the best spectrum opportunity for 5G in South Africa and therefore as part of our technology contract with them are to utilize that spectrum to build out a 5G network and to make it available for the masses meaning not just a VIP service but with the approach that the amount of spectrum they have is sufficient to carry a huge amount of consumers data at a lower cost."

The full network deployment is set to start in the first quarter of 2019, and services are expected to launch mid-2019 when standards-based 5G NR devices become available in the country. 

During the launch, Nokia and rain will showcase the impact of 5G and how it can provide even remote locations access to high-quality education. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE