Telkom to unveil 4.5G mobile technology at SATNAC

PUBLISHED: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:20:10 GMT

The wide range of technical topics to be discussed at Africa’s leading ICT conference, SATNAC, will take delegates deep into the future of the information technology sector.

SATNAC, the annual Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference, will be hosted by Telkom next week, in partnership with sponsors from the industry. This year’s event will be held from 4 to 7 September at Fancourt in George under the theme Broadband Evolution – “Unlocking the Internet of Things”.

The access network technologies topics to be presented for discussion will include “Unlocking the Fibrenet of Things” and “Getting 5G ready – Understanding 5G as an agile Software-defined Network Infrastructure for IOT Applications”.

SATNAC Chairperson, Mr Alphonzo Samuels, says, “Delegates will benefit from several presentations on recent developments in the ICT industry and get a glimpse of what’s to come from the many infrastructure suppliers and the network operators participating in the plenary sessions of this, the 19th edition, of the conference.

“SATNAC is known for its capacity to reveal to the public the latest telecommunications developments and inventions and this year’s conference will be no exception. Attendees this year can look forward to live 4.5G mobile technology, run for the first time in South Africa on Telkom’s licenced spectrum bands,” said Samuels.

On their journey to 5G, Telkom has deployed a LTE three downlink component carrier (3 CC DL) network at Fancourt. The network deployed is a commercially live, carrier aggregated 3G and LTE network supporting newer generation commercially available devices.

Attila Vitai, Telkom’s Chief Executive Officer for Consumer Retail, emphasised that this is not a demonstration network and that it is the first one deployed by the company in this configuration. This technology will remain in operation at Fancourt after the conference.

“Using commercially available devices Telkom will demonstrate bandwidths in excess of 260Mbit/s to smartphones which demonstrates the commitment to implement newer standards and technologies once they become commercially available,” said Vitai.

Although LTE carrier aggregation has already been deployed in Telkom’s mobile network since the launch of LTE-A, the operator’s intention is to start enabling carrier aggregation across frequency bands going forward as part of the network evolution towards 4.5 and 5G networks.

“4.5G is a natural evolution of the 3GPP standards and enables operators to protect their investment by using existing infrastructure and spectrum, to offer higher data rates and improved user experience using commercially available devices,” said Vitai.

Visitors at the conference will be the first to experience mobile data download speeds greater than those that are currently commercially available via LTE and LTE-A and get a feel for what the anticipated 5G technology will bring in the near future.

“In addition, panels comprising some of the industry’s most authoritative minds on regulatory and governance issues, will engage in discussions that are increasingly under the national and global spotlight. These too are bound to be followed closely,” said Samuels.

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