African Governments are auspicious over the possibilities that could crystallize from 5G Technology. Particularly the potential application in large scale farming leveraging on drones as well as the introduction of autonomous automobiles, access into the metaverse, futuristic smart homes and augmentation of cyber security.
Ethiopia announced trials for the first 5G Mobile network within Addis Abba on the 9th of May 2022. Analysts prognosticate that 5G could burgeon the African economy by as much as $2.2 Trillion by the year 2054.
Currently there are a panoply of attendant teething issues with the roll out of 5G technology in Africa including clarifications on spectrum regulation, commercial viability, low purchasing power of average African citizens, deployment deadlines and high internet costs.
Below is the list of African countries that are pioneering 5G Technology on the continent:
- Botswana: The South African country rolled out 5G for consumers on February 25th, 2022. The technology was accessible to residents of Gaborone, the capital. There is a planned expansion to over one hundred base stations by the end of 2022.
- Egypt: The North African country is still in the testing phase for 5G networks with spectrum already given to major carriers like Orange, Vodafone, Egypt Telecom and Etisalat.
- Gabon: Testing commenced in November 2019. Gabon Telecom set to go commercial by 2023.
- Kenya: The East African country is still in the testing phase. The country is expected to account for over 50% of Africa’s 5G mobile subscriptions by 2026.
- Lesotho: Stultification of 5G roll out plans and testing progress due to regulation challenges.
- Madagascar: The roll out plan is currently halter albeit it was launched briefly in 2020.
- Nigeria: Spectrum licenses were issued in March 2022 with the African Giant aiming to have the widest 5G network on the continent before the year runs out. August 2022 is the target for commercial deployment.
Other countries include:
- South Africa