Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you to the 2019 Fibre Optic Conference, this year in Sandton, Johannesburg.

After years of hype 5G is finally a reality and therefore it may come as no surprise that this year the event will have a strong focus on 5th Generation Mobile Technology.

Many cities in the world has already adopted 5G or are in the process of doing so as is the case in South Korea who, in early April 2019 launched commercial 5G services. Whilst that may not surprise you, the fact that in early May carriers have collectively signed up 260,000 subscribers — and deployed 54200 base stations, may come with a bit of amazement. Certainly a solid start for the next-generation cellular technology. In mid April Japan’s government approved plans by four mobile network operators to build superfast fifth-generation wireless networks, with investment set to total 1.6 trillion yen ($14.4 billion) over the next five years. Many other countries are set to follow and over the next months we will see more and more networks come alive across the globe.

This technology poses many opportunities, certainly the one thing that no one disputes. However, we need to prepare for the opportunities that this type of connectivity will offer and the ones that stand the most to gain will be the early adopters who embrace it.

This next-generation network connectivity is set to reinvent every aspect of our lives, including the world of business. 5G promise to boost efficiency and unleash the potential of automation, but it will also enable us to explore developing technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). 5G is not just about faster phones, it is about to touch every part of our lives and re-invent the world like no other technology has ever done until now.

The exponential rate at which technology is developing, mutating, and adapting is so fast that we have to apply certain effort to keep pace with technological change and how it will affect our business and lives.

While the future is becoming more difficult to predict with each passing year, an accelerating pace of technological change can be expected.

To date, technology has literally changed every aspect of the way any business operates and never before in history has that change occurred so fast.

Colleagues, I invite you to join me on the 7th and 8th October as we explore the world of fibre and 5G, as well as the impact on the industry and the opportunities it holds for the continent.

Andile Ngcaba
FTTX Council Africa


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