The report caters for both non-technical newcomers to 5G and for a more advanced audience. It provides important information for those wishing to invest in 5G or 5G-enabled businesses or making significant related decisions.

Readers of the report will learn the essence of what 5G is about, critical success drivers and key global and South African developments. This backdrop is used to describe the impact on opportunities and to project the uptake in SA. The report also informs both the broader and longer-term perspective on 5G and its likely role in far-reaching transformation of societies and economies.


Target Readership

This report is aimed at investors, operators, policy-makers and regulators as well as almost any business which seeks to understand the opportunities afforded by 5G in an era of increased digitalisation and hyper-connectivity


This report introduces 5G in terms of salient, relevant points (for those with little or no exposure or technical background). The report then explores the key drivers of 5G market growth and the status of those drivers. Global examples of advanced countries are used to highlight enabling policies, investment appetite, technical readiness and customer uptake. Macro-factors such as the United States – China tension and Covid-19 are considered in terms of impact. On the local scale, we profile key stakeholders, describing their status and likely plans. We suggest likely uptake projections over the next 5 years by high-level use case category.


The report is based on desktop research derived from publicly available information on the key players, previous interviews with and updates from select vendors, and BMIT’s industry knowledge (including valuable extracts from its range of commercial reports, excluding confidential customer information). The 5G market is very dynamic and the report represents information known as of June 2020.


Table of Contents

Report Overview

Executive Summary

  • Executive Summary – Introduction
  • Executive Summary – 5G Maturity
  • Executive Summary – Global Scan
  • Executive Summary – South Africa

Stakeholder Needs


  • Introduction and Relevance of 5G
  • Global Scan
  • SA Context
  • SA Outlook
  • Annexure

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Introduction & Relevance of 5G

  • Why is 5G relevant to South Africa?
  • What is 5G – the requirements and standards
  • What is 5G – the underlying technology
  • What is 5G – the impact on business and society
  • 5G as the “Poster Child” of the Telecoms Future
  • The Basis for 5G: IMT-2020 (Demand Considerations)
  • The Roots of 5G: IMT-2020 (Supply Considerations)
  • New Spectrum Requirements for 5G
  • Case Study – a Wireless Coverage Simulation done in the US (Mid band versus High Band Spectrum
  • 5G: The tower densification needed for mm wave
  • IMT Spectrum: The World Radiocommunications Conference
  • IMT Spectrum Roadmap: WRC-19
  • IMT Spectrum Roadmap: WRC-19 results discussed
  • IMT Spectrum Roadmap: WRC-23 and 27 plans
  • New Radio (NR) – the wireless basis for 5G
  • New Radio – service flexibility
  • New Radio (NR) and the transition to 5G Standards
  • 5G and the Core Network
  • Network Slicing
  • Network Virtualisation, Edge Computing and Open Sourcing
  • 4G Evolution & Practical Transition to 5G
  • 5G versus Wi-Fi 6
  • Characteristics of fibre, copper and wireless as fixed-access technologies
  • Characteristics of mobile wireless (including LTE and NR) as a fixed-access technology
  • Use Cases – Possibilities

5G Global Scan

  • US-China Dynamic
  • Device Update – General
  • Device Update – Recent performance indications
  • Device Update – Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops
  • Device Update – Machine Type Communications
  • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing
  • 5G Vendors
  • The Changing Value Chain
  • Summary of Developments – Deployments
  • Summary of Developments – Deployment Trends
  • 5G Developments in Asia – China
  • 5G Developments in Asia – South Korea
  • 5G Developments in the United States
  • 5G in the United States: T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon
  • 5G Developments in Europe: Switzerland
  • European 5G Security Assessment
  • 5G United Kingdom Example – Spectrum Sharing

South African Context

  • 5G Business Case – SA vs US RoI
  • Short Term 5G Services – Enhanced Mobile Broadband
  • Medium Term Services – Massive Machine Type Communications
  • Long Term Services – URLL Communications
  • Long Term – URLL: Further Considerations
  • US-China Dynamic – Impact on South Africa
  • Operator overview: rain
  • Operator overview: rain coverage
  • Operator profiles: rain 5G deals
  • Operator profiles: rain
  • Operator profiles: Vodacom
  • Operator profiles: Vodacom (5G Launch and Plans)
  • Operator profiles: Vodacom 5G deals (fixed wireless access)
  • Operator profiles: Vodacom 5G deals (mobile service)
  • Operator profiles: MTN
  • Operator profiles: MTN Launch and Plans
  • Operator profiles: MTN 5G Launch Deals
  • Operator profiles: MTN 5G Coverage
  • Operator profiles: Liquid Telecom
  • Operator profiles: Comsol
  • Operator overview: Telkom and Openserve
  • WOAN (Wholesale Wireless Open Access Network)
  • The 5G Spectrum Assignment Process

South African Outlook

  • South African readiness for 5G
  • South African Outlook – Introduction
  • Outlook by use case
  • Outlook by use case – forecast scenario inputs
  • Four Key Scenarios for 5G FWA uptake in SA
  • SA scenario assumptions – key early use cases
  • Network capacity and dimensioning options
  • What 5G enables – broadband fixed wireless use case
  • Relative Positioning of 5G Mobile, 5G Fixed-Wireless and LTE vs FTTx
  • Affordability and churn drivers
  • Forecast scenario assumptions: offerings in the market
  • Broadband fixed wireless as FTTH alternative
  • Forecast scenario: subscriber uptake
  • Forecast scenario: 5G Revenue outlook


  • IMT 2020 Requirements – Parameters
  • IMT 2020 Requirements – Additional Notes
  • IMT Spectrum : The World Radiocommunications Conference
  • IMT-2020 Radio Interface Evaluation Process
  • List of Possible 5G-IoT Categories
  • Operator detail: rain historical slide



Deliverables and format

  • PDF PowerPoint format
  • Clients are also entitled to a one-hour online workshop.

Further information

For further information and details on how to subscribe to this research please contact Anita Mathews on 011 540 8000 | 082 466 2317 |