BY BUSINESS REPORTER
ZIMBABWEAN firms must start preparing for fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks to adapt to changes taking place in the telecoms industry, according to telecoms executive and former NetOne chief executive officer (CEO) Lazarus Muchenje.
5G mobile networks are expected to be the next big leap in mobile broadband, with peak download speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second, enabling specialised tasks like remote precision medicine, connected cars, virtual and augmented reality and a wide array of internet of things applications.
Muchenje, who spoke during the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe virtual Winter School for 2021 last Thursday, said firms that procrastinated would be digging their own graveyards.
“Within a few years, the price of data will be almost zero,” Muchenje told the conference.
“The question then is: When you have got an abundance of data what do you do?
“Are you going to be consuming what other people are producing or are you going to be producing services that you can utilise that abundance of data to make economic sense for you?” he asked.
“What are the opportunities today?
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“What are the technologies that are emerging that we need to be aware of and to take advantage of in our different things?
“We see a lot of companies have got chat box. When you go to Facebook you sort of say you now want to talk to these types of people and so on.
“In terms of things, that’s going to be a big thing going forward especially with 5G,” Muchenje said.
“Are you prepared? That’s the question I really wanted to ask at the end of the day.
“Are you prepared for these opportunities? But for you to be prepared you need to have a learning organisation,” he said.
“Your organisation must be people-centric.
“Monopolies are going to die soon and your business must be location-independent as we saw with the challenge from Covid-19 that we have to be able to work from anywhere.”
CCG Systems CEO Walter Muwandi said the world has since been characterised by rapid increase in the adoption of technological changes, giving rise to digital transformation and associated disruption.
“As times are moving, emerging technologies are changing the standard business processes, modern workplace and managerial practices,” Muwandi said.
“The digital transformation is having a wide-ranging impact on the business environment, creating both opportunities and challenges.”
Econet Wireless chief customer experience officer Otis Makahamadze said a culture of innovation involves top leadership, creates safe innovation spaces, cross-fertilises ideas and gets everyone in the organisation to be innovative.
Cisco Systems senior director for Africa Charmaine Houvet said the outbreak of Covid-19 had made people realise the importance of digitalisation.