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MTN and Huawei have launched a C-band 5G trial as part of the operator’s network evolution plan.

C-band is described as the “golden band” for 5G spectrum, as it comprises the valuable slice of spectrum in the frequency range of 3.3 to 3.8GHz. Many countries are deploying this spectrum band to deliver 5G services, making it highly valuable for mobile operators.

At AfricaCom 2019 in Cape Town last week, MTN and Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a Joint 5G Innovation Program to work on new technologies like 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Through these innovations, says MTN SA, it will develop use cases that have a social impact, including smart city and education.

The media launch demonstrated use cases like a live 5G speed test, with throughputs up to 1.6Gbps, and a series of live 5G demonstrations, such as Cloud VR gaming, a robotic arm guessing platform, and augmented reality (AR) eyeglasses demonstrating facial recognition.

Said MTN CTIO Giovanni Chiarelli, “This trial demonstrates the capability of this new technology while giving customers a glimpse of what the future holds, showcasing the next generation of applications for consumer and enterprise customers. MTN will further co-operate with Huawei to accelerate commercial 5G deployment.”

Dean Yu, Huawei Carrier Business VP for Southern Africa, said: “5G is at the stage of large-scale deployment in 2019 globally. In the 5G era, more ‘cloud native’ services will appear. With the redefinition of the smart clients, broad pipes, and cloud applications, devices can be significantly simplified and more capabilities can be mapped from clouds to devices. Huawei will keep supporting  MTN through its challenges and requirements.”

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