by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – THE fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks (5G) has emerged pivotal in the race to save Africa’s endangered species from extinction.
Huawei and Telkom have taken a lead on this, supporting a 5G live stream of Africa’s endangered penguins.
This is also to highlight the role of 5G and supporting technology for conservation and environmental protection.
The live stream from Boulders Beach in Cape Town, home to the largest group of African Penguins in South Africa, hosted on Telkom’s 5G temporary network, was broadcast to Huawei’s global and local social media platforms.
Hosted by conservationist and wildlife television presenter, Lauren Arthur, the live stream gave viewers the chance to experience the unique penguin colony and illustrated 5G’s potential as an enabler of environmental conservation.
Lunga Siyo, Chief Executive Officer of Telkom Consumer Business, pointed out 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,” he said.
A swarm of bees killed over 60 endangered African penguins in a rare occurrence at a colony in Simonstown near Cape Town.
Siyo meanwhile said in the future, 5G would enrich people’s digital lives, bring real benefits and change to humans, companies, society, and the natural world.
He added 5G could especially be beneficial in South Africa’s goal of achieving a digital economy.
The technology is already playing a role in health, education, mining and the consumer market.
Siyo added Telkom was well poised to roll out 5G across South Africa.
“Telkom currently has the largest optical fiber 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,” the official said.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of the Department of Communication and Digital Technology, said, post pandemic travel was immersive with opportunities for enhanced technologies to give tourists a digital-first experience of a destination.
She said the streaming of the Penguin colony was an innovative way to engage potential visitors, to stimulate foreign tourist interest in the area.
Huawei is also involved in several other conservation initiatives, including a project that uses upcycled Huawei devices and Huawei’s Cloud Artificial Intelligence to protect rainforests.
The African Penguin is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
– CAJ News