5G rollout a catalyst for Namibia’s socioeconomic transformation
By Ilana Erasmus
Green Enterprise Solutions.
Namibia is working hard to become a knowledge-based society, no longer largely driven by agriculture alone. This means that new technology and innovation need to be embraced. The access to the Internet and the uptake of smartphones has been major catalyst in the transformation of the country so far. The next step is to roll out 5G technology. What does this technology and access to it mean for Namibia?
The expansion of 5G wireless, the fifth generation of wireless technology, is the updated version of the 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G wireless networks. It will deliver increased Internet speeds, more bandwidth for data to be sent and received, better coverage, and much greater Wi-Fi coverage for Namibia. This a positive development, but the important question to ask is ‘What practical and economic use does this have?”
Namibia can join and compete with the rest of the world regarding technology and innovation by leveraging 5G. With the introduction of 5G, our nation can recover and grow economically. Processing, capturing, analyzing, sending, and receiving data becomes child’s play with 5G. With more excellent coverage, it means that processes of organizations as well as governmental and municipal institutions can be streamlined and become more efficient.
As stated by GSMA Intelligence “In 2030, 5G is expected to generate $960 billion in GDP, only a fraction of that will be generated by and in Africa. With an even smaller fraction generated in Namibia. We must start somewhere though, and with the rollout of 5G, Namibians can focus on and expect improved access to healthcare and education. As well as increased public security and response times, safer driving conditions, and reduced pollution. Academic development and learning happen mostly offline at present and the vast distances are often a challenge. Bridging the digital divide will become a reality through e-learning for all ages and all levels.
Not only will 5G create employment opportunities, but now is the time for (non)profits to boost their operations and be ready for the 5G roll-out.
5G is expected to be able to connect to 100 times more devices than the previous generations, including everything from cars, smartwatches, and drones and propelling the Internet of things (IoT) devices into the mainstream. Namibia does not want to get left behind, as its impact on every sector, including healthcare, energy, transportation, law enforcement, e-commerce, logistics, and education will be enormous.
Healthcare providers will be able to embrace telemedicine and e-health solutions. New applications and services will improve service delivery and push innovation and technology. A new health ecosystem that can accurately, effectively, easily, and at scale address, the demands of patients and healthcare providers, will no longer be science fiction, but science fact with 5G.
Looking at the oil and gas developments and exploration in Namibia, the introduction of 5G allows the energy grid to be more accurately monitored, improving management, and reducing costs. While at the same time building towards a sustainable and powerful innovation ecosystem in Namibia. We can harness climate change and mitigate the impact of global warming.
In comparison to 4G networks, 5G networks offer significant gains in connection speed, capacity, and latency. If we as a nation, as businesses, and as governmental entities embrace 5G, we can create the knowledge-based society that we foresee in Vision 203 for Namibia. True change can be Namibia’s future with 5G technology.