Bringing 5.5G into reality is a key theme that headlined the just ended 14th Mobile Broadband Forum (MBBF) in Dubai. As much as the buzz word was meant to be 5.5G, 5G as a forerunner of the world’s fastest fixed wireless access, was just as prominent throughout the summit and here is why;
Firstly, there was 5g before 5.5G became, secondly while 5.5g has already recorded exploits in some parts of the world, its concept largely remains unfamiliar to at least most of us of course for obvious reasons.
While the birth of 5.5G is a clear demonstration of how disruptive wireless technology has become in the last few years, it is still important to take special note of how 5G has remained indispensable in our daily lives, bringing multi-sectoral benefits. Looking back four (4) years since Huawei rolled out its first commercial 5G, its exponential growth and uptake has been unprecedented, even much more than what pundits expected. Going by heart-warming conversations emanating from the just ended MBBF, there is no doubt 5G has revolutionized every sphere of life in one way or another.
Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, Ken Hu cast some good light on the spiraling effects of 5G in his key note address. Mr. Hu revealed that 5G has added to its name over 260 networks connecting millions of people, while its usage continues to grow at a break-neck speed.
“In the past 4 years we have achieved lots of progress, we have more than 260 5G networks in the world covering nearly half of the world’s population. The adoption of 5G is much faster than 4G and now we have around 1.5 billion users in the world and consumers really like 5G because of its super-fast speed” Ken Hu said.
There is no time to tip-toe over the relevancy of 5G on the African continent more especially in a country like Zambia which has shown keen interest to roll it out. In Zambia, 5G may be in its infancy stages but there is a broader push by associations and authorities to swiftly move beyond 4G, 4.5G whose capacity may somewhat Limiting. In a recent interview, Dr. Chitundu Kasase, National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) CEO perfectly brought the point back home on how 5G could be spur innovations. The courteous and soft-spoken Executive explained that there is an urgent need for 5G deployment in Zambia, and everyone must be concerned with the limitations that comes with 4G.
“5G is needed like yesterday in Zambia; especially that the emerging technologies and 4IR innovations are more efficiently utilized when running on 5G. Tech Startups and their solutions & business, to be successful and sustainable, must be embedded on 5G. Zambia must be concerned with the limitations that come with 4G, to effectively grow the innovation ecosystem and indeed businesses, 5G is the go-to. So, Huawei must accelerate the deployment of 5G for this is the future” Dr. Kasase said.
Dr. Kasase view on 5G remains as relevant as any other well-thought-out view I know. With the last major acts of the 14th MBBF calling on Africa to accelerate 5G and maximize its potential, Telcom’s have shown appetite to roll it out across Africa. In November 2022, MTN Zambia launched 5G network, becoming the first mobile operator in Zambia to offer 5G services commercially after successfully undertaking trials of the transformative technology for almost a year. In July 2023, Airtel Zambia officially launched its 5G network, showcasing the impressive capabilities of their 5G services. Airtel became the second mobile service provider to launch 5G in Zambia.
According to the 5G impact report by STL, a leading research firm and Telcom consultants, the unique benefits of 5G could unlock $740bn of value in manufacturing in 2030.The report states that the manufacturing industry is going through a period of rapid digital transformation and is increasingly using data and technology to improve efficiencies within the plant, enhance productivity, and enable new business models supported by 5G.
Not only is 5G impacting manufacturing but also many other industries. In the neighboring Botswana for instance, In March 2023, technology firm Huawei announced a partnership with Botswana diamond producer Debswana, to implement 5G technology at Jwaneng mine, aimed at making the mine much more productive and efficient. With great potential Zambia has in mining and manufacturing, 5G may be what the country needs to turn its fortunes around.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 21st October, 2023)
MultiChoice launches GOtv Stream in Zambia. A new way to experience the best of sports and entertainment!
NO stranger to bringing entertainment into homes across the nation, MultiChoice is expanding its online offering, by introducing GOtv Stream to GOtv customers across Zambia.
“It is no secret that more and more people are leaning toward streaming services to experience uninterrupted entertainment that’s uninhibited by infomercials and ads. GOtv Stream is just another way MultiChoice Zambia is continuing our trend of upward innovation, as we strive to evolve with our audiences and their viewing needs.”, says Leah Kooma, Managing Director, MultiChoice Zambia
MultiChoice and DStv have already made their presence in the digital space with their online platform – DStv Stream, and now GOtv customers can enjoy the same user-friendly, and personalized streaming at their fingertips. The new feature allows viewers to seamlessly watch their favourite programmes and other content on electronic devices, keeping them connected at any time and from anywhere.
Ms Kooma reiterates that, “You may recall, GOtv was officially launched in Zambia on 5th September 2011, and now with the introduction of GOtv Stream customers will enjoy a great online service. What drives innovation for us, is providing our customers with the content they love, in the way that best suits them. As the home of the best sports and entertainment we will continue to deliver unrivalled value and choice for our customers”.
She adds: “GOtv Stream is an online service that will allow all GOtv customers take a subscription and enjoy our content anywhere and at any time. The launch of GOtv will allow us to expand our online offering and bring more great entertainment closure to the customers”.
Some of the functionality available are; Live TV, TV guide, CatchUp, use on up to four devices, downloading content to devices, and Live Chat. All paid up GOtv customers, with an internet connection can download and use GOtv Stream for free – available on Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 2nd December, 2023)
Government secures an equity partner for Mopani Copper Mines
FOLLOWING the ongoing negotiations to revamp operations at Mopani Copper Mines on the Copperbelt, Government has finally secured an equity partner.
The Equity partner being International Resources Holdings (IRH) an affiliate of Abu Dhabi Conglomerate International holding was selected after an extensive process.
The process was undertaken by ZCCM-IH, together with Rose Child and Company, a company based in South Africa.
In carrying out the process of revamping the mine, which started last year in June, the process focussed on assessing Mopani’s balance sheet due to high level indebtedness and also finding a suitable partner for sustainable development.
Announcing the development, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe said the selection of an equity partner will help restore life back into Mopani.
“I wish to announce and I am so glad and exited to announce that after extensive and thorough process, Government through the directors of ZCCM-IH have appointed a strategic equity partner for Mopani. The preferred partner selected is International Resource Holding Limited an affiliate of Abu Dhabi Conglomerate International holding company,” he said.
He said the partner selected is expected to inject funds into Mopani to stabilise short term work requirements, completion of the mine projects and unlock its potential.
Mr Kabuswe also stated that the equity partner will also reset the existing relationship with Glencore.
He further added that other details of the development at Mopani will be announced in due course when signing of the deal is being made.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)
Over 30 people trapped after a mine accident in Chingola
MORE than 30 people are believed to be trapped in an open pit mine in Chingola district on the Copperbelt after a mining accident.
Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Jack Mwiimbu said the affected are trapped as a result of earth collapsing and has since asked the nation at large to put the affected in prayer.
Mr Mwiimbu speaking in Parliament said more than 30 people are trapped and the rescue team is on site
“May I just inform the nation that we have a tragedy that is brewing in Chingola where a number of our people have been affected by a collapse of the open pit in Chingola. We have more than 30 people under the rubble and we are struggling to retrieve them. We would like to ask all of us to put our citizens in prayer,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 1st December, 2023)