South African mobile operator MTN has launched a live 5G indoor solution at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre.
MTN South Africa said this is the first time that the telco has deployed a trial 5G network in an indoor business environment, with standards-based commercial-grade 5G network equipment and devices.
This joint project between MTN and Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre will enable collective evaluation regarding the benefits that 5G connectivity can provide to corporate customers, while laying the foundation to test more advanced 5G use cases in a future phase.
The 5G indoor solution consists of an end-to-end dedicated 5G network operating in 100MHz of 28GHz licensed spectrum and achieves downlink throughputs exceeding 630Mbps and uplink throughputs exceeding 130Mbps.
The 5G solution includes a 5G router to enable Kyalami employees and conference attendees to access the fiber-like 5G service via WiFi connectivity on their mobile devices during the test period. Once 5G mobile terminals are commercially released by the handset OEMs, the same 5G indoor solution will be capable of supplying connectivity directly to those devices, the telco said.
“MTN South Africa is working with a number of partners to identify more 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of their industries. Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre offers MTN the unique opportunity to test 5G services within a corporate and public indoor environment, while providing us with the opportunity to explore advanced 5G IoT and mission-critical use cases,” said Giovanni Chiarelli, CTIO, MTN South Africa.
“The most significant challenge preventing MTN from commercially launching 5G services is the lack of appropriate 5G spectrum. However, despite this lack of 5G spectrum, MTN has continued to pioneer the use of 5G technology within the country, so that when such spectrum is made available, then MTN will be in an ideal position to begin supporting 5G use cases in a variety of environments and industries.”
Kyalami Racing Circuit is a motor racing circuit located in Midrand, Gauteng province, South Africa. The circuit has been used for Grand Prix and Formula One races and has hosted the South African Grand Prix many times.
Last year, MTN and Chinese vendor Huawei had completed live outdoor 5G trial in the African continent with an end-to-end Huawei 5G solution.
The field trial demonstrated a 5G fixed-wireless access use case with Huawei’s 5G 28 GHz mmWave Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in a real-world environment at The Fields shopping centre in Hatfield, Pretoria. MTN said the 5G trial reached downlink speeds of 520 Mbps and uplink speeds of 77 Mbps.
Also last year, MTN had carried out an indoor 5G trial at its headquarters in Johannesburg in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson. MTN said the 5G trial has achieved download speeds of more than 20 Gbps with latency of just 5 milliseconds. MTN had received a temporary license for 800 megahertz of spectrum in the 15G Hz band to conduct its 5G trial.