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5G Africa
8 - 12 November 2021
CTICC, Cape Town

8 - 12 November 2021
CTICC, Cape Town

What is 5G? What is LTE?

Check out our 5G glossary of terms for a complete list of definitions associated with 5G. Be ready for the next big thing in mobile networking technology!

5G Glossary # - C

5G, the next generation of connectivity has been rolled out in regions like the USA, South Korea and Japan, and will drive new monetisation opportunities for Telcos worldwide and use cases in various industries. As the speed and reliability of African networks continue to rapidly improve, LTE-A and 5G are expected to roll out widely in the continent in the years to come.


1G is the first generation of mobile network technology, offering analog-based voice services.


2G is the second generation of mobile network technology, offering digital voice and low-speed data services.


3G is the third generation of cellular network technology, offering broadband data services.


4G is the fourth generation of cellular network technology, offering high-definition digital voice. It also offers a greater data performance speed than 3G. The 5G Africa panel on 4G Evolution and the technology roadmap to 5G will address the steps MNOs need to take to upgrade their networks.


And now for 5G. 5G is, you've guessed it, the fifth generation of cellular network technology. It's expected to overtake 4G access speeds, latency, number of connected devices to coverage, availability, and energy consumption. 5G Africa will showcase the 5G trials in the region from MTN and Vodacomand discuss the drivers and monetisation strategies for the next generation of connectivity. 

3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project)

3GPP refers to the seven telecommunications standard development organizations: ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC.

They provide their members a favourable environment to produce the specifications and reports that define cellular telecommunications network technologies. This includes radio access, the core transport network, and service capabilities. The 5G World Series is proud to be a 3GPP global partner.

8 - 12 November 2021
CTICC, Cape Town

Africa 5G Outlook Report!

5G will be a niche technology in Africa if spectrum is not made available

Download our Ovum report outlining and analyzing the background and status of 5G developments in Africa, when and where 5G is likely to be deployed in the region, and how it will develop.

5G Glossary C - F

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing, or 'The Cloud' as it's commonly referred to, is the practice of employing a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet. It allows you to store, manage and process data, as opposed to using a computer or local server. 


C-RAN (the 'C' in which stands for both 'Centralized' Radio Access Network and 'Cloud-Based' Radio Access Network) is a cloud-computing based architecture for radio access networks. It supports all of the aforementioned wireless communication standards: 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G.  

It improves cell coordination, scheduling, resource pooling, and load balancing.


Network densification refers to the practice of adding more cell sites to increase the amount of available capacity. They can be placed in capacity-strained areas to bolster capacity where it is most required, and also aid in offloading traffic from surrounding sites. 

Edge Computing

Allows analytics and data gathering to occur at the source of the data by pushing computing applications, data and services away from centralized nodes to the edge of a network, closer to the end-users.

Edge Computing will be a core technology truly enabling the next generation of connectivity. To find out more about this, join the 5G Africa conference sessions

Fiber Connectivity

A fiber connection (FICON) is a fiber optic channel technology that increases capacity and decreases the cost of enterprise system connection (ESCON).

Fixed Line

A fixed-line network refers to wired networks using cables laid across land, as opposed to wireless transmission technologies. 

8 - 12 November 2021
CTICC, Cape Town

Congolese Minister Eyes 5G Opportunity

Africa does not immediately spring to mind when one talks about 5G. Nor would Congo usually be the first country mentioned in connection with 5G in Africa.

5G Glossary H - N


Heteregeneous networks (HetNet) simply put, refers to modern mobile communications networks. Mobile communication networks today are made up of a combination of different cell types and access technologies.

For example, a combination of legacy systems e.g. GSM, UMTS and modern radio access technologies such as LTE.

IoT (Internet of Things)

Connecting objects, appliances and machinery via embedded sensors and chips, enabling them to interact, operate and receive and transmit data automatically.

LTE (Long Term Evolution)

A 4G mobile communications standard whereby users should experience data speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G networks.

MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing)

A network architecture that allows real-time, high-bandwidth, low-latency access to radio networks, giving telecom operators the ability to open their networks to a new ecosystem. MEC permits multiple types of access at the edge, including wireline.

Network Function Virtualisation (NFV)

Network Function Virtualisation, or NVF, is a network architecture using IT virtualization 

Network Security

Network Security refers to any activity designed to protect a computer network against hacking, unauthorised changes to the system and general misuse. For example, an anti virus system. 

5G Glossary N - W

Network Slicing

Virtual slices of a physical network supporting specific performance guarantees. The 5G Africa panel on 4G Evolution and the technology roadmap to 5G as well as presentations, will cover the monetisation opportunity for Telcos in selling network slices to their enterprise customers and explore various use cases.

Machine Learning

A subset of artificial intelligence that uses statistical techniques to allow computers the ability to "learn" with data.

RAN (Radio Access Network)

A combination of wireless network elements and wireline network elements connecting end-users, man and machine, to the network core delivering specific services, including base stations & controllers, backhaul, fronthaul, transmission, etc.

Multiple sessions at 5G Africa will present best practice on migrating your networks to the next generation.


Small Cells

Low-powered cellular radio access nodes that operate in licensed and unlicensed spectrum, serving fewer users at high access speeds over a small geographic area. The 5G Africa agenda addresses the technology roadmap and challenges for network densification and applications of small cells. Find out more here. 


Wi-Fi is a technology that allows computers, smartphones, and other devices to connect to the Internet wirelessly.