Verizon, Samsung and Cosmol collaborate to launch 5G wireless trials in South Africa

South African telecommunications company Comsol Networks, in collaboration with Verizon and Samsung, is set to roll out the first set of 5G wireless trials in South Africa.

The 5G network set to launch is widely considered the next step in the evolution of wireless networking and is said to have the potential to connect millions of South Africans with high-speed connectivity – faster than 4G. The collaboration is aimed at delivering a wireless solution that rivals ‘FTTx’ offerings, including Fibre-to-the-Business and Fibre-to-the-Home, by early-2019.

According to Sung Yoon, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics Africa, the collaboration between the companies brings “so much opportunity in the region due to the diversity of markets and services already in place here, and we think South Africa is a prime candidate to show off the benefits that 5G can bring to consumers here.”

Comsol CEO Iain Stevenson said, “In early trials in the US, Verizon has shown the potential of the 28GHz millimetre spectrum, which has been identified for 5G services by the country’s Federal Communications Commission.” He added that to launch the trial network, a ‘pre-5G’ proprietary standard from Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum (5GTF), will be converted into the 5G New Radio (5GNR) standards after necessary confirmations.

Implementing the fixed 5G wireless service is aimed at changing the way consumers communicate and experience online services. Official standards for 5G have not yet been approved by the International Telecommunication Union. But the collaboration will focus on developing and jointly testing the technology, so it will be ready for commercial launch once the standards have been confirmed.

5th-Generation Wireless Systems (abbreviated 5G) is the marketing term for technologies that satisfy ITU IMT-2020 requirements and 3GPP Release 15. Key features of 5G include high throughput, low latency, high mobility and high connection density.

5G will use additional spectrum in the existing LTE frequency range (600 MHz to 6 GHz) and Millimetre wave bands (24-86 GHz), which can support data rates of up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps). The wireless System will use Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) to significantly increase network capacity.