The 5th generation ICT eco-system standards being formulated by the 5G public-private partnership (5GPPP) under the ITU, describe the 5G ICT-ecosystem standards as the most transformative technology standard in the history of mankind. The 5G ICT-eco system standards are composed of three distinct pillars that aim to address; (a) enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) enabling gigabit ICT services such as video-on-demand, (b) Low latency & reliability critical communications infrastructure and control services for industrial applications; (c) Massive machine-type communications (MTC) to enable > 50 billion sensing IoT devices. South Africa is learning about 5G technologies and services in collaboration with advanced industrialized countries such as South Korea and through institutional collaboration between CSIR and KAIST. This talk will present the CSIR multi-disciplinary research, development and innovation activities with particular focus on dynamic spectrum toolboxes and improving the network capacity to meet the demand for the 5G eMBB use case. Data-intensive science and AI and machine learning techniques as applied to dynamic spectrum sharing and software-defined networks will also be presented. The three pillars of the 5G ICT eco-system are expected in the short term to bring significant impact in the high economic urban areas throughout the world. The talk will also touch on affordable broadband connectivity solutions to extend the reach of the 5G wireless ICT standards for underserved and digitally excluded rural communities in South Africa and emerging markets.
Dr. F. Mekuria, Chief Research Scientist, CSIR Meraka ICT Institute, in Pretoria, South Africa. He leads the 5G and Affordable Broadband Networks research at the CSIR. He is the proponent of a 4th leg for the 5G standards aimed at technologies for addressing the next billion underserved population in emerging economies. He has a Ph.D. from Linköping University, in Sweden, and has worked for 10 years as senior research Engineer at Ericsson Mobile Communications R&D lab in Sweden, where he developed over 12 US/EPO patents. He has been working with the mobile and internet service industry in developing countries: Setting up next-generation network labs in Africa, Development of mobile applications programming courses, Network resource sharing for affordable broadband connectivity, and development of telecom regulatory frameworks and capacity building for telecom regulators in Africa. He is at present leading the disruptive technology research in dynamic spectrum sharing and affordable network technologies. The project made headlines as the only emerging economy technology patent contribution for smart spectrum sharing and unlicensed spectrum networks. The group lead by him has successfully completed the international qualification process and standardization of white space spectrum databases in competition with global technology companies, led by the UK Ofcom regulator. Dr. Mekuria is also involved in postgraduate skills development in wireless communications with a number of African universities through his engagement as Adj. Professor at the University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Science, South Africa.