Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom is to launch the first 5G wholesale roaming service in South Africa. Available from early 2020 in all major South African cities, this latest fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity will enable wholesale operators to create innovative, ultra-fast and scalable digital services for their customers.
The 5G wholesale network will also help accelerate the evolution of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in South Africa. Reliable connectivity up to 10 times faster than 4G will allow businesses to harness trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to innovate transformative new services, increase productivity and deliver more connected customer experiences.
“This breakthrough 5G wholesale service will create innovation in every aspect of South African society and industry,” says Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman, Liquid Telecom. “For the first time, mobile network operators and ISPs will have open access to Liquid Telecom’s new 5G mobile network. The launch of the service also underscores Liquid Telecom’s vision to bring high-speed connectivity to everyone.”
Liquid Telecom will use its 3.5GHz spectrum asset to build the 5G network and provide nationwide 5G wholesale services to the market early in 2020.
One of the most profound implications of the new service will be its impact on South Africa’s 4IR ambitions, where connected devices communicate with each other, automating the factory floor without the need for human intervention. The fusion of 5G, IoT and other technologies like AI and robotics will touch and transform every facet of business, creating entirely new ways of serving existing needs.
“This is a milestone moment for Liquid Telecom South Africa,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO. “Our wholesale operating partners can exploit our new ultra-fast 5G roaming network to build the next generation of communications and make innovation possible, anytime, anywhere. 5G will facilitate real-time remote collaboration, improved business efficiency and lower costs – ultimately driving growth in the South African economy.”
The launch of the 5G wholesale roaming service is another step towards Liquid Telecom ‘Building Africa’s digital future’. The organisation has been investing heavily across the continent where it operates Africa’s largest independent fibre network, spanning almost 70,000km in length.