An economic feasibility model for sustainable 5G networks in rural dwellings of South Africa
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Numerous factors have shown Internet-based technology to be a key enabler in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDG), as well as narrowing the divide between the global north and south. For instance, smart farming, remote/online learning, and smart grids can be used to, respectively, address SDGs 1 and 2 (ending poverty and hunger), 3 (quality education), and 7 and 9 (energy and infrastructure development). Though such Internet-based solutions are commonplace in the global north, they are missing or sparsely available in global south countries. This is due to several factors including underdevelopment, which dissuades service providers from investing heavily in infrastructure for providing capable Internet solutions such as 5G networks in these regions. This paper presents a study conducted to evaluate the feasibility of deploying 5G networks in the rural dwellings of South Africa at affordable rates, which would then serve as a pre-cursor for deploying solutions to improve lives and achieve the SDGs.