Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with multinational wireless communications engineering company SkyMax Network to build 5G infrastructure across Sub-Saharan Africa.

As part of the deal Ericsson will supply the network infrastructure, optimisation and managed services. The vendor will also explore opportunities to partner across the end-to-end business and technology stack. These will include both the RAN and Core, as well as support systems such as BSS and managed services.

SkyMax, which the press release states is focused on developing the digital economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, will create new service opportunities “revolutionizing the data-centric market in the region”. The company will apparently share its 5G Digital Service Delivery Platform (5G DSDP) with incumbent service providers.

The platform is a ‘high-speed data network’ offering a variety of 5G capabilities including network slicing, ultra-low latency, edge computing, Network Exposure Function (NEF).

“Over the last two years, we have collaborated with Ericsson to bring the best offerings to Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on accelerating 5G adoption to drive financial and social inclusion while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing energy efficiency.” said Wilfrid Assisi CEO at SkyMax. “With this MoU, we look forward to more collaboration and synergy between the two companies that will accelerate the digitization of the region.”

“The work we have done together with SkyMax over the last two years has further convinced us that Ericsson’s continuous Research & Development focus and leadership in 5G is providing the specific solutions needed to increase economic growth and financial inclusion while accelerating adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.” said Todd Ashton, Head of Ericsson South and East Africa. “We look forward to working with SkyMax Network to capture the opportunities that we can offer the region together and accelerate #AfricaInMotion.”

The monetisation of 5G has often been considered to rely predominantly on the innovative services it can provide in the enterprise segment. Services such as NEF will allow operators to grow their revenue beyond the consumer segment and diversify their offerings, much like hyperscalers’ business models. At the same time, enabling intelligent services can indeed lower consumer costs, especially in sectors such as water and energy supply.

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