South Africa: rain, Huawei launch 5G transport network

South African mobile data network operator, rain has launched its intelligent 5G transport network in partnership with Huawei.

Transport networks can be thought of as the 'neural networks' that connect core networks to services.

rain's CTO Gustav Schoeman says, "With Huawei's E2E solutions and new products, our first 5G users can experience 5G ultra-high speed broadband service at home. Rain will further strengthen its partnership with Huawei in 5G network innovation and practice to offer a top service experience to users."

Huawei released a statement saying in terms of 5G transport network construction, the company embraces the concepts of 'ultra-broadband network', 'intelligent connectivity', and 'committed high availability'.

Among the technology used are the NetEngine 8000 M series intelligent metro routers which, according to Huawei "provide high-density 10GE-to-site access and 100GE uplink, accommodating demands for rapid traffic growth."

"The fabric architecture achieves a large capacity and congestion-free forwarding. The Optical solution uses Huawei's 200G+OXC solution based on OSN 9800 equipment, providing 16T per fiber huge bandwidth with lower cost of per bit, reducing optical-layer commissioning time by 80% because of fibre connection free, while also saving footprint and power consumption usage by 50% per site," the company added.

Huawei Network Cloud Engine (NCE) also enables service automation and intelligent O&M on this network. The E2E IP network with optimal optical foundation and intelligent NCE helps to build the low-latency and superior-experience 5G transport network, it continued.

Leo Liu, CTO of Huawei Network Marketing and Solution Sales Dept, said, "With both parties dedicated to constructing highly efficient, stable, reliable, intelligent, and trusted 5G transport networks, the partnership between rain and Huawei is aimed at offering more optimal digitised services to the South African market."

The companies claim that rain's 5G network deployment in Phase 1 will cover the major regions of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and will be expanded to cover all major cities and towns in South Africa.

No-one left behind

Huawei asserted the need for Africa to stake its claim in the global race for 5G.

ITWeb recently reported that at AfricaCom 2019 hosted in Cape Town, Mohamed Madkour, VP of global wireless networks marketing and solutions at Huawei said there should be no digital divide or no one should be left behind from digital inclusion "and there should not be a country that is left behind in the 5G race."

Also at AfricaCom 2019, Paul Scanlan, chief technology officer, Carrier Business Group, Huawei Technologies, outlined the growing need for connectivity and the technologies that underpin Africa's journey to 4IR, including AI and 5G.

Scanlan said if Africa wants to drive the US$5-trillion digital economy across all sectors, it has to be aware of several technologies and their impact, including AI, 5G and 3D-printing.

Unitel representative Isabel dos Santos has appealed for the need for strong investment in Africa's energy sector in order for 5G to become a reality on the continent.

dos Santos said: "Telecom operators are eager to deploy the 5G network, but that requires a strong investment in energy, just as it happened in telecommunications."