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Opportunity Issue 103

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

Smart living enabled

Smart living enabled Marcel Bruyns, Sales Manager at Axis Communications, explains how the shift from 4G to 5G affects security and surveillance. Smart cities will be enabled by 5G. Credit: State of Green The shift from 4G and 4G LTE to 5G is far-reaching, and although its growth is relevant to most sectors, we can expect to see real and impactful applications in the network security and surveillance sector, particularly when it comes to smart buildings and cities of the future. It is therefore important to know what 5G’s core benefits are, and how it forms part of effective digital transformation strategies and smart living initiatives. The rollout of 5G 5G networks are likely to cover one-third of the world’s population by 2025, accounting for as many as 1.2-billion connections. This global rollout is happening right now, with private and state entities investing exponential amounts into constructing new networks and upgrading existing infrastructure to deliver what some now consider an essential service. The concept of 5G is not just about delivering faster and better broadband service. The technology can expand into new areas such as sensitive and high-priority communications and, more notably, the realisation of large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) networks and infrastructure. With the infrastructure in place, 5G network carriers and suppliers will be able to offer affordable and comprehensive options to businesses and individuals based on their technical and digital requirements. Network security and surveillance sectors may not be the primary driving force behind the rollout, but they do stand to benefit from 5G and, as such, should begin making the necessary investments into their own research, development and existing operations. Overcoming the obstacles Companies are moving forward with 5G, gaining a better understanding of how the technology best suits the application requirements of their particular industries. But it’s still essential to manage expectations. We may refer to big numbers – with the number of future 5G connections being in the billions – but a wide-scale rollout is still a long-term prospect and it’s at the mercy of several pertinent factors. One important factor is that 5G requires spectrum. Countries and regions are taking steps to consider and apply the appropriate policies that will govern the provision of spectrum to operators – a process that takes time. And there is the infrastructure itself. While some countries are moving swiftly to establish their own 5G networks, developing nations are still working to provide widespread connectivity. Their existing – and considerable – investments into 4G networks and technology may compromise or elongate timetables regarding an eventual 5G rollout. 40 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

5G ROLLOUT Then consideration must be given to usage parameters, which are already creating notable real-world impacts. In January 2022, mobile networks in the US were forced to delay the activation of 5G services near airports after receiving concerns from federal aviation authorities. Questions were raised about how the surrounding 5G signals might interfere with essential in-flight safety equipment such as altimeters. It’s still early days for 5G and, while this may be a circumstantial scenario, it does highlight the need for collaboration and planning between all concerned sectors to ensure a smooth and efficient rollout. solutions. The security industry is always evolving, and the shift from 4G to 5G opens up more new opportunities to contribute to smart buildings, smart cities and critical infrastructure. Let’s make sure we make the most of those opportunities. Smart cities, smart applications and a smart future We need to take a holistic view on the rollout of 5G. It plays a significant role in smart cities – futuristic urban areas that use the latest tech for the benefit of citizens and businesses. In this scenario, IoT is key, giving cities the ability to use a network of interlinked hardware to gather, process and effectively use data. And this is not just a trend. Technology spending on smart city initiatives is forecast to more than double between 2018 (-billion) and 2023 (9.5-billion). Within a smart city, you have mobility and monitoring solutions that work together to not only identify typical, everyday problems, but also to compile the necessary data to solve them. It is predicted that in 2023, outdoor surveillance cameras will have a 32% market share for 5G IoT solutions worldwide. This enables licence-plate recognition, traffic monitoring and vehicle detection, all made possible by a series of edge-computing cameras and other surveillance equipment that feeds back to a central hub. Faster transfer speeds allow for quick responses from officials and data is efficiently compiled and processed through the cloud. Body-worn surveillance equipment on city law enforcement is another example. Using 5G-enabled wireless technology, cameras integrated with established video management systems can transmit live pictures to a central command centre, where officials can react in real time. The efficacy of a solution such as this depends on the width and breadth of network coverage within the targeted area, but 5G guarantees the speed. And, when combined with edge computing, the reaction time becomes even quicker. There is long-term value to this thinking and approach, but it also depends on trusted partners and vendors that can deliver on these Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash About Axis Communications Axis enables a smarter and safer world by creating solutions for improving security and business performance. As a network technology company and industry leader, Axis offers solutions in video surveillance, access control, intercom and audio systems. They are enhanced by intelligent-analytics applications and supported by high-quality training. Axis has around 4 000 employees in over 50 countries and collaborates with technology and system-integration partners worldwide to deliver customer solutions. Axis was founded in 1984 and the headquarters are in Lund, Sweden. Marcel Bruyns www.opportunityonline.co.za | 41

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