According to the Ericsson Mobility Report released recently, Saharan Africa will reach 70 million 5G subscriptions by 2026. The report features breakout statistics from Sub-Saharan African markets where around 15 percent of mobile subscriptions were for 4G at the end of 2020.
Mobile Network Operators in Africa have been conducting trials to prepare for this migration.
At the launch of the new construction of a new headquarters for MTN Côte d’Ivoire recently, MTN Group announced the start of a local trial of 5G services in Abidjan.
MTN Group owns 58.8% of MTN Côte d’Ivoire, which is one of three mobile operators in the country, with a market share of around 35%. At the end of June 2021, it had 13.7 million subscribers, of whom 4.9 million were active data users. It had 4.8 million active Mobile Money (MoMo) subscribers, making it one of the Group’s top MoMo operating companies.
Globally, Ericsson notes in the report that despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, service providers continue to switch on 5G, and more than 160 service providers have launched commercial 5G services
According to new stats from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) there are 18 African countries that are testing or rolling out 5G. In Kenya, Safaricom launched its first public 5G network trials in select parts across the country. In May Nigeria’s communications authority also set aside a spectrum that the country’s telcos will use to launch 5G. With this national policy for 5G, the country has pledged to make 600 MHz of mid-band spectrum available in the 3.5 GHz range. Nokia in July signed a deal with Africell to deploy 5G-ready network in Angola.
“Our strategic intent is to provide leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress, and our presence here today illustrates the importance of MTN Côte d’Ivoire to the Group’s overall portfolio,” said Mupita, adding that MTN had operated in the country since 2005.