To illustrate the role of technology in helping to preserve vulnerable animal life, Huawei and Telkomsupported a 5G live stream of Africa’s endangered penguins.
The live stream from Boulders Beach in Cape Town, home to the largest group of African penguins in South Africa, was hosted on Telkom’s temporary 5G network and broadcast to Huawei’s global and local social media platforms.
According to a statement, intensive conservation is becoming increasingly important for the Boulders penguin colony. Its fragility was underlined earlier this year when 64 birds died following a bee attack on the beach.
Hosted by conservationist and wildlife TV presenter Lauren Arthur, the live stream gave viewers the chance to experience the penguin colony, as well as illustrate 5G’s potential as an enabler of environmental conservation.
Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Consumer, points out that 5G technology could prove pivotal in allowing conservationists to monitor the colony. “If we could set up a 5G camera here, the experts could watch the penguins every movement, and of course, help prevent another incident like the bee attack.
“In the future, 5G won’t only enrich people’s digital lives, but will also bring real benefits and change to humans, companies, society and the natural world,” he adds.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, markets across the globe have continued to switch on 5G, with more than 160 service providers across the globe having launched 5G, according to the 2021 Ericsson Mobility Report.
Locally, mobile operators have used the temporary spectrum assigned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to launch 5G services, and it is expected the auctioning of spectrum will enable operators to expand their 5G networks.
Siyo is of the view that 5G can be especially beneficial in South Africa’s goal of achieving a digital economy, noting that sectors where 5G was starting to play a role include health, education, mining and the consumer market.
According to Siyo, Telkom is well-poised to roll out 5G across South Africa. “Telkom currently has the largest optical fibre network in South Africa and many cell masts are already 5G-ready.
“I don’t think it will be long before our users will be able to enjoy the convenience of 5G networks.”
Communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni notes that post-pandemic travel is immersive, with opportunities for enhanced technologies to give tourists a digital-first experience of a destination.