As the race to 5G network gains momentum, operators around Africa are laying down the infrastructure so that their users can enjoy every good thing that comes with it.
In Tanzania, Vodacom, the country’s largest operator has rolled out the network, with the hope of improving services to individual customers and businesses.
“We promise to continue using technology to improve the lives of Tanzanians and lead the digital transformation. As we launch 5G, we plan to reach 90 per cent of Tanzanians with 3G and 45 by 2024,” the company’s acting Managing Director, Hilda Bujiku said during the launch.
Andrew Lupembe, Director of Network at Vodacom Tanzania, highlighted the benefits of 5G, saying that customers will enjoy every aspect of it.
“4G is good, but due to community demands, there was a need for higher technology with low latency, hence 5G. It will address a lot of challenges in Tanzania.”
Across the continent, 5G technology has only taken root in a handful of countries, with operators citing the cost of installation as the main impediment. Countries that have at least some scope of 5G in Africa include; Ethiopia, Botswana, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
At the moment, customers with 5G-capable devices can expect speeds of up to 400 Mbit/s, with Vodacom planning to offer more than 800 Mbit/s speeds in the coming months. The plan is to reach speeds of 1 Gbit/s once 5G spectrum is made fully available, Vodacom said.
The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has issued a public notice of its intentions to auction spectrum in the 700MHz, 2300MHz, 2600MHz and 3500MHz bands in October 2022.