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As SA’s telecoms operators start trials of "fifth-generation" (5G) connectivity and exploring the best applications for the technology, experts warn that a full-scale rollout hinges on access to spectrum, or radio frequencies. International standards are yet to be finalised, but 5G generally refers to connections with exceptionally low latency (or delays in transferring data), ultra-fast download speeds and better network efficiency, among other attributes. The number of use cases for 5G is seemingly endless. For consumers, 5G technology is an enabler of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, as well as driverless cars — all of which require significant bandwidth and practically no delays in data transmission. It is also envisaged that this more reliable network will have a wide array of health-care and industrial applications, including in "smart manufacturing". It will provide "large-scale connectivity to support the millions of IoT [Internet of things] devices expect...

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