Attendance of the summit is free and is targeted at all businesses and people interested in ICT and digital transformation. It brings together local and international leaders, visionaries, digital innovators, and change makers who are at the forefront of digital transformation. ‘Some of the topics to be discussed are FinTech and Blockchain technology, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things use cases and the 5th Generation mobile communications, commonly referred to as 5G’, said BTC Chief Operations Officer Aldrin Sivako.
Sivako explained that ‘5G is the new global wireless standard that follows after 1G, 2G, 3G & 4G mobile communications technology networks that enables a new kind of ultra-fast and low latency connectivity that is designed to virtually connect everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices”. He continued to explain that ‘when 5G arrives in Botswana, it is likely to set off a revolution on the strength of an enhanced extra low latency digital backbone that the new technology provides’ adding that ‘the current peak data rate of 4G LTE mobile technology at 125 Megabits per second (Mbps), whereas with 5G it is 2500 Mbps and above, a quantum leap by a multiple of 20 times”.
To unpack the above buzz words and give them a perspective, Sivako narrated that ‘ on 4G network, an average movie takes 6 minutes to download whereas on 5G, the same movie will take under 20 seconds to download. 5G can support ten times more devices per square kilometer”. 5G’s true potential extends way beyond smartphones and mobile devices as there are enhanced use cases for autonomous vehicles, smart cities & automated factories, remote patient monitoring and diagnostics, augmented reality and virtual reality, mission critical applications and many more industries. All these have become topical and more relevant use cases and applications due to the systemic impact imposed on world economies by COVID-19 pandemic.
Shift 5G will be discussed at the Digital Shift BW summit, which is held as part of the ongoing BTC@40 Celebrations. This is an international event meant to demonstrate BTC’s capabilities and readiness in the era of the 4IR as we RESET and REALIGN to increase Botswana’s competitiveness in global markets.
As a converged telecommunications operator, BTC stands ready to offer this technology as it is already playing a critical role in the national Information Communication Technology (ICT) transformation agenda and is a crucial partner in the process of advancing Botswana from a resource-reliant economy to a diversified knowledge-based economy.
‘Over the past few years, BTC has made significant investments in its technology infrastructure in the quest to enable future digital capabilities. These investments enable us to position ourselves for the next phase of growth by differentiation through reliability, speed and coverage, laying a foundation for the 4th Industrial Revolution’ concluded Sivako.
BTC currently offers 4.5G mobile network, a step towards 5G and has over 400 LTE sites countrywide, making it more accessible in all parts of Botswana. The company has just completed its three year strategy of Growth and Transformation, whose overarching strategic aim was to create shareholder value through the delivery of innovative solutions, increasing mobile and broadband market share; and fixing the basics to deliver a superior customer experience, by going beyond connectivity. This aim resonates with BTC’s Purpose, which is “To provide superior communications solutions to Batswana anywhere and everywhere to enable them to live connected”.