Earlier this week, Huawei, Rain and Wits University announced a new partnership that saw the trio launch Africa’s first 5G Innovation Lab locally.
This new laboratory, which is situated in the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, is designed to give students access to a live 5G environment to understand the new broadband standard, as well as create applications for the local market.
The parties involved added that the 5G Innovation Lab is part of a longer-term joint innovation programme between business and the academic institution.
In terms of the collaboration, Huawei says it will provides its end-to-end 5G solution, supported by rain’s 5G network. The Lab will also initially showcase two 5G applications – smart/safe campus and VR remote education – both of which were on display during this week’s launch.
“We are very encouraged by the efforts of Huawei, rain and Wits to establish academic R&D capabilities, this is very important as we move into the digital economy. As a leading ICT company Huawei, also runs various cutting edge ICT programmes at several South African universities and colleges, and this gives our youth a foothold into the fast changing technology space,” noted Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Blade Nzimande, regarding the Lab.
“We are working with the pioneers in digital innovation to train a generation of smart, savvy scholars who will transform the world, using the latest technology available to effect beneficial change in our world. We are not reimagining the future, we are creating a better future for all today,” added Wits vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Adam Habib.
Among other 5G applications, Huawei says the Lab will investigate live VR elearning broadcasts of lectures and classes. Furthermore it will feature a hub relaying feeds from cross-campus safety and security camera networks.
With 5G seen as a key pillar on which 4IR will built upon, it should be interesting to see what solutions the Lab comes up with, as well as how it can better educate local learners.