Over the past few months, we’ve seen the world transform. It’s clear that cities will be affected in the long-term, which is why it’s critical to reflect on how emerging technologies can shape the future.
The emergence of 5G networks and boundless broadband deployment has the potential to change the way cities define their digital future. The promise of mobile gigabit connectivity, low latency and unprecedented device density offers new and exciting developments that affect every aspect of public life, from intelligent transportation to public safety and waste management. Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic is shining additional light on the need for greater connectivity speeds and broadband access, that not only allows organisations to drive business continuity, but to also bridge the digital divide and enhance a country’s digital infrastructure.
According to a report produced by the GMSA titled 5G in Sub-Saharan Africa: laying the foundations, 5G will pay a pivotal role in shaping the digital landscape of the region, however mass adoption is not imminent due to the cost of the infrastructure that needs to be developed. Nonetheless, the report goes on to document how the positive impact of 5G is acknowledged in the region, however the implementation will be lagged, and most respondents alluded to wanting it to be tested in other regions, before adopting the technology, allowing for economies of scale for equipment and devices to drive the costs down. South Africa is leading the way in terms of implementation with 5G available in major cities through an increasing number of operators.
Over the past few months, the global pandemic has further impacted the perceived value of 5G in Sub-Saharan Africa and has illuminated equity issues and opportunities to address them. Government leaders know that inequalities will continue to grow should they not solve the problem right now. As these governments look to rebuild their economies and invest in technology infrastructure, enhanced broadband deployment provides communities with an opportunity to close the digital divide by shrinking the gap between constituents who have access to high-speed connectivity and those who don’t.
Click below to read on about how 5G will be the backbone of smart cities.