L-R, Fortune Wang, Huawei SA, Carrier Business Director; Lebo Masalesa, Telkom Managing
Executive Mobile Network, Neo Phukubje, Managing Executive Telkom Wireless Solutions, Lunga
Siyo, Telkom Consumer Business CEO, Michael Lau, Huawei Telkom Account Director.

A PARTNERSHIP between telecoms giant Telkom and global ICT company Huawei is set to catapult South Africa’s 5G market into an exciting and technologically- rewarding new future of connectivity. 

Telkom’s entry into the market will result in additional spectrum in its ecosystem.

Telkom Superfast Unlimited 5G was officially launched in partnership with Huawei this week at the DP World Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub.

Through this partnership, a win-win for both companies, Huawei, as a strategic partner, will help Telkom build its 5G network and also support it as it settles into the 5G era. 

The deal makes sense in many ways, considering that in South Africa there are 3.5 million 5G devices already in use, and expected to grow to five million by 2025. 

The 5G smartphone devices are also relatively cheap at just R3,500. The prices are expected to continue to reduce. 

Also, after spectrum auction, 5G networks are being rolled-out very fast in a country which is one of the best connected in Africa.

The company has a national 5G footprint with a network built over the last 24 months.

5G, the ultra-speed, super internet connection that replaced the LTE and 4G, is the next generation network that will be at the centre of the development and technological advancement of smart cities, businesses, healthcare, manufacturing and autonomous cars.

In South Africa, where manufacturing contributes about 12% of GDP, 5G is key in building smart operations, thereby transforming business models by enabling automation, IoT, artificial intelligence and augmented reality for troubleshooting. 

Says Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Consumer and Business: “Although 5G stands head and shoulders above 4G and LTE through faster and more reliable connection it provides, it was critical for us to make sure that our existing 4G ecosystem remains strong whilst introducing 5G into the market. 

“As our 5G footprint grows it will allow customers to enjoy a smarter, more connected world.” 

Added Siyo: “At launch, Telkom will primarily focus on providing superfast 5G Fixed Wireless Access solutions. As the demand for mobile 5G increases, we will supplement this with suitable mobile propositions. 

“We are excited to offer our consumers even faster internet speeds that will greatly enhance their home and business digital experiences through the improved network responsiveness.” 

He added that the 5G network supplements Telkom’s current connectivity ecosystem, “offering a diversity of connectivity solutions and improved network responsiveness”.

“5G is the next frontier of technological innovation and we are excited to bring this technology to the fingertips of all South Africans to realise the potential of a fully connected world.”

Huawei and Telkom will embark on a regional 5G experience so that consumers can see for themselves the impact of this super internet connection and how it can “unlimit” their world of connectivity.

This will ensure no one is left behind, in line with Telkom’s spirit.

Fortune Wang, Director of Huawei South Africa, Carrier Business,  says 5G will be a game changer in South Africa, one of the leading countries in the digital economy in the continent. 

“5G, with its ultra-high-speed and low-latency, will support new services for South African consumers, like online AR/VR gaming and UHD streaming. It will also enable businesses with cloud and AI technologies.

“Huawei, as Telkom strategic partner, will not only help to build 5G networks but is also committed to supporting Telkom achieve business success in the 5G era.

“We look forward to creating opportunities for consumers and business, beyond connectivity, into intelligent digital services.” 

Explained Wang: “5G is not a 4G +1, it is completely a new technology to create new value across consumer and industry by providing quicker downloads, much lower latency and reliable connection. 

“For consumers and homes, 5G provides premium broadband FWA services to enable a digital lifestyle – such as online AR/VR gaming, live broadcasting, UHD streaming etc.

 ‘”For business and industry, 5G can empower industry 4.0 – to assure high efficiency and improve working conditions, for example in mining and manufacturing.”

Wang noted that due to economic challenges, industry needs  to improve efficiency and must “look to differentiated technology to drive growth” . 

“Survey results show 40% of organisations have started to digitalize and increase automation in their operations, 45% of organization’s are piloting cloud initiatives, and 15% are in the implementation stage,” he said.

Spurred by the Covid pandemic, which has driven significant lifestyle changes for South Africans, with people working from home, students learning online, eCommerce, online shopping and the ‘always-on’ culture, 5G has become the buzz word in the world of connectivity.

Wang noted that transaction volumes from e-commerce increased by 250%, wile streaming services grew 70% during the Covid-19 era. “This trend increased broadband demand, data traffic spiked over 40%,” said Wang.

As one of the largest mobile and home broadband service providers in the country, Telkom has a good foundation, offering  full-house services to consumers, households and business, and with nationwide infrastructure including fibre, towers and a complete network.

 “Telkom Superfast Unlimited 5G’ definitely will enable Telkom leveraging this foundation into a technological leap to embrace competition and maximize its advantage,” said Wang.

Said Siyo: “Our purpose is to seamlessly connect our customers to a better life, and through our entry into 5G, we believe that our customers will be able to enjoy a better, connected World. ” 

Telkom says it has also entered into partnership with the DP World Wanderers Stadium to showcase the “Power of Connectivity and Technology”.

In this collaboration, the stadium will become an innovative digital entertainment destination that merges the physical and digital worlds. 

This will help the company unearth the next world stars through the Central Gauteng Lion’s Cricket Development pipeline, now called the Telkom Academy. – Zambezi News