Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 20 - Page 17

NEWS Vodacom Group launches Africa’s first commercial 5G service ICT Minister visits Technology Park in Egypt V odacom Group has announced that it has created Africa’s first standards- based, commercial 5G service in Lesotho using 3.5GHz spectrum to initially deliver Fixed-Wireless Access broadband services to two enterprise customers. The immediate benefit of 5G technology for Vodacom subscribers in Lesotho includes the quicker deployment of broadband services with fibre-like speeds, meaning that entrepreneurs, industry shapers and the government will be able to develop and incubate innovative applications to power Digital Transformation in the country. Vodacom Group has also announced that it has deployed the same standards-based 5G technology in South Africa, with speeds more than 700 Mbps and latencies of less than 10 milliseconds. This will exceed 1Gbps as new software versions and devices become available. Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Vodacom prides itself on being a market leader and we are extremely pleased to be the first to deliver 5G services to customers in Africa. What we’ve accomplished in Lesotho is an example of what can be achieved in Africa, should the requisite spectrum also be made available. Vodacom will be able to make 5G services available to its customers in South Africa once requisite spectrum is assigned. Global technological advancements are evolving at a rapid pace and South Africa can’t afford to be left behind, particularly when we look at some of the potential use cases for 5G to support critical sectors of our society such as healthcare and education.” The Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) visited Borg Al-Arab Technology Park T he Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) visited Borg Al-Arab Technology Park in Alexandria, Egypt, as part of his inspection tours to follow up on the regularity of work in the technology parks. Amr Talaat, accompanied by National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Acting Executive President, Mustafa Abdel-Wahed; Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) Acting CEO and Chairman of Silicon, Waha Maha Rashad; Information Technology Institute (ITI) Chairman Heba Saleh; Advisor to Minister for Technology Parks, Sherine El Gendy; and several officials of the MCIT. During the visit, Talaat highlighted the significance of the technology parks in supporting the ICT industry and creating job opportunities for youth. He pointed out that the priority of the work during the previous period was to develop the strategy of the ICT sector to complete what has been built before, develop executive plans to enable ministries and the State’s organs technologically and assist them in undertaking their tasks. The four technology parks in Borg Al Arab, Assiut, Sadat City and Beni Suef are being developed to maximise benefit in them through promoting investment opportunities and offer a range of incentives to attract new investments. This is in addition to creating a favourable environment for developing digital industries, implanting the electronics manufacturing, supporting technological innovation and expanding start-up and innovators incubation programmes. The tour included visiting NTRA premises and the Technology Innovation Cluster. n INTELLIGENTCIO 17