MTN conducted a proof of concept (PoC) for what it claimed to be Africa's first 5G standalone core, deployed with the cloud computing platform Microsoft Azure.
The PoC was constructed with all 5G standalone core elements including the control plane, user plane and management nodes. MTN said the PoC showcased the benefits of a cloud core such as deployment in days rather than months and ease of scale. This enabled a shift in network planning with sustainability, commercial models, automation and disaster recovery in mind.
MTN added 5G will enable multiple industries in Africa to be more efficient through ultra-fast end-to-end communication capacity, namely: education, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, agriculture and mining.
The operator is targeting to roll out 5G to a population coverage of 10% to 30% in the medium term.
In a statement, MTN Group CTO Amith Maharaj said: “Being one of the first in the world to conduct this proof of concept demonstrates MTN’s desire to keep pushing the boundaries of technological innovation that delivers value to our shareholders.”
MTN Group CEO Ralph Mupita added Africa is on the cups of the fourth industrial revolution enabled by 5G.