Thursday, April 18, 2024

Which Countries Have Launched 5G in Africa?

5G has seen vital adoption not solely within the nation however throughout Africa as an entire prior to now few years. Mobile carriers throughout the continent have been working exhausting to broaden their present 5G protection networks.


5G trials began in early 2020 in Kenya by the nation’s main telco Safaricom, a 12 months after 5G networks went business within the U.S. and South Korea. Safaricom 5G was ultimately rolled out to the general public in October 2022 and was the only supplier in Kenya for ten months till Airtel launched its 5G community in July 2023.

Safaricom 5G is now out there in choose cities in 35 counties nationwide together with Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi to Marsabit County. Airtel 5G is accessible in 32 counties within the nation. Late final month, Equitel launched their 5G community which is offered throughout 370 areas from the coast, the lakeside and the north rift. 

With three gamers within the nation, Kenya noticed positive growth when it comes to 5G cell subscriptions. Second quarter sector statistics report monetary 12 months 2023/2024 present that subscriptions grew to 586,684 customers from 509,737. This can be a reflection of the telco’s efforts to broaden 5G protection, making 5G bundles and gadgets – each smartphones and routers reasonably priced.

Airtel 5G Wifi Router
Airtel 5G Wifi Router


Tanzania has three carriers which have already launched 5G networks. Vodacom was the primary to launch 5G in September 2022, adopted by Tigo in February 2023 and Airtel in August 2023.

Vodacom 5G is offered in 230 areas with protection extending from Zanzibar, Mbeya, Iringa, Mwanza, Arusha and Dodoma. Tigo 5G is accesisble in Dar Es Salaam, Dodoma, and Zanzibar. Airtel 5G is offered in choose cities in Tanzania together with Dar Es Salaam.


MTN Uganda launched 5G in July(twenty eighth) final 12 months and plans to extend protection throughout the capital Kampala(Lugogo and Bugoloobi) by the tip of this 12 months. MTN Uganda, Sylvia Mulinge stated that the provider’s 12 months plan was to transform all of the community’s base websites throughout main cities to 5G.

That very same weekend(July thirtieth) after the MTN Uganda 5G launch, Airtel Uganda launched its 5G community in Kampala. The 2 are the most important networks in Uganda with MTN having 18.2 million subscribers(52%) whereas Airtel has 15.9 million subscribers(46%).


Somalia launched its first 5G community in January this 12 months with Somtel taking the lead for its 4 million cell subscribers. Simply final week(March 2024), Hormuud Telecom additionally introduced their 5G providers providing free 5G plan upgrades to 4G subscribers.

Hormuud Telecom is offered in Mogadishu, Dobey, Merca, Kismayo, Galkayo, Afgoye, Dhusamareeb, Beledwayne and Baidoa. The telco stated its 5G community is as much as 81% within the area.


In Septemeber final 12 months, Ethio Telecom launched their 5G community out there in Addis Ababa(145 websites). Safaricom is available within the nation however they solely supply 2G, 3G and 4G providers in 11 cities in Ethiopia.

Safaricom is the nation’s second telco and reported 9 million subscribers in January and now covers 33% of the nation(2242 base stations).

Right here’s a quick breakdown of 5G throughout different African International locations:

In comparison with final 12 months, extra international locations have commercially launched their 5G networks with extra rising the areas they’re at the moment piloting and scheduling official launches throughout or earlier than the tip of the 12 months.

Only a few international locations have been left behind specializing in rising their 3G and 4G protection which remains to be a very good factor.

Nation 12 months – Trial Began/ Commerical Launch Service Trial Section/ Industrial Cities
Botswana November 2022 Orange Industrial Gaborone and Francistown
Mauritius August 2023 Emtel Industrial
August 2021 Chili Mauritius Industrial Port Louis, Vacoas, Curepipe, Quatre Bornes, Triolet, Goodlands, Centre de Flacq, Bel Air Rivière Sèche, Mahébourg, and Saint Pierre.
July 2021 My.t cell Industrial Bagatelle Mall, La Metropolis Trainon, Ebene Cybercity, and the College of Mauritius
Madagscar August 2020 Telma Industrial Antananarivo and Taomasina.
To Be Launched Finish of 2024 Orange
Seychelles September 2023 Cable & Wi-fi Seychelles Commerical Victoria, Anse Boileau, Bel Ombre, Beau Vallon, Cascade, Anse Royale, Takamaka, Port Glaud, Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue.
South Africa October 2022 Telkom Industrial Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Capetown.
Could 2020 Vodacom Industrial Johannesburg, Cape City, Gaunteng, Bloemfontein, Gqeberha, KwaZulu-Natal, East London, and Durban.
June 2020 MTN Industrial Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Polokwane, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape City, and Durban.
February 2019 Rain Industrial 56 areas in South Africa
Togo November 2020 TOGOCOM Industrial Lomé
Zimbabwe February 2022 Econet Industrial Harare, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Gweru
Zambia November 2022 MTN Industrial 65% protection in Lusaka, Ndola, Solwezi, Chingola, Kalumbila and Kitwe.
July 2023 Airtel Industrial Lusaka
Nigeria September 2022 MTN Industrial Lagos, Kaduna, Zaria, Abuja, Ilorin, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Aba, Jos, Owerri, Engu, Abeokuta, Oyo, Benin Metropolis and Maiduguri.
June 2023 Airtel Industrial Abuja, Rivers, Lagos, Oshogbo and Ogun.
Launching This 12 months MAFAB Communications 30 cities – Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Port Harcout and Abuja
Gambia June 2023 QCell Industrial Banjul
Mozambique Could 2023 Vodacom Industrial Maputo, Matola, Nampula, Nacala, Munhava, Maquinino, Chipanga, Beira, and Tete.
Egypt January 2024 Telecom Egypt Trial Section New Administrative Capital.
Guinea-Conakry Launching This 12 months Guinee Telecom
Senegal March 2024 Sonatel -Orange Trial Section Dakar
Could 2024 Free – Saga Africa Holdings Trial Section
Mali July 2021 Orange Trial Section Bamako
Sierra Leone September 2023 Orange Industrial Freetown
October 2023 Africell SL Industrial Freetown
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) June 2023 Orange Trial Section
November 2023 Vodacom Trial Section
Sudan Could 2022 Sudatel Trial Section
South Sudan MTN, Zain, Digitel Trial Section
Algeria To Be Launched Finish of 2024 Djezzy, Mobilis, Ooredoo Trial Section
Tunisia To Be Launched Finish of 2024 Ooredoo Trial Section
Morocco To Be Launched Finish of 2024
Angola July 2022 Africell Industrial Luanda, Benguela Province
December 2023 Unitell Industrial Talatona, Cuemba (Bie province), Ingombota, and Maianga, Alto Zambeze-Cazombo (Moxico)
Côte d’Ivoire December 2021 MTN Trial Section Abidjan
September 2022 Orange Trial Section Abidjan
Malawi Could 2023 Telekom Networks Malawi Industrial Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba.
Rwanda October 2023 MTN Rwanda Trial Section Kigali
Benin February 2024 MTN Trial Section
February 2023 Celtiis Trial Section
Burundi July 2024 Trial Section
Libya To Be Launched Finish of 2024 Al Madar Trial Section
Republic of the Congo October 2022 MTN Trial Section
June 2023 Orange Trial Section
November 2023 Vodacom Trial Section
Mauritania November 2023 Mattel Trial Section
Namibia March 2024 MTC Trial Section
Gabon November 2019 Gabon Telecom Trial Section
Lesotho August 2018 Vodacom Industrial
February 2024 Econet Industrial
Eswatini August 2022 MTN Trial Section

Africa has over 1.2 billion cell connections with over 650 million distinctive cell customers which makes it crucial for an improve to 5G.

It’s predicted that 5G will affect varied trade sectors – starting from manufacturing, agriculture and retail and can contribute $26 billion to the continent’s financial system by 2030.

GSMA Intelligence’s latest figures present that 5G connections are going to signify over half of cell connections by the tip of this decade.

It has been fascinating to see how rapidly 5G has been adopted in comparison with 4G – it rose to 1.6 billion connections by the tip of final 12 months and is forecasted to achieve 5.5 billion by 2030.

The start of this 12 months noticed 261 operators in 101 international locations launch 5G networks together with Africa with most carriers, particularly within the continent choosing the low-band spectrum or the mid-band spectrum.

The most important problem with the 5G rollout in Africa has been restricted 5G community protection, and the excessive value of 5G gadgets and most of them are glad with the earlier 4G and 3G networks.

The long run is wanting brilliant as cell operators and enterprises are working collectively to unlock 5G’s superior capabilities. There’s a sizeable market alternative which closely relies on insurance policies that allow community investments which embrace regulators availing extra spectrum for quicker 5G adoption.

It’s nonetheless crucial for Africa to maintain up with the worldwide 5G adoption which may be achieved utilizing the phased method which is a sustainable means to make sure customers and enterprises take pleasure in enhanced connectivity.

Scaling 5G throughout Africa will nonetheless want collaborations between stakeholders which incorporates cost-effective community deployment, partnerships between customers and enterprises to carry related localized use instances, and developing with packages that make 5G gadgets extra reasonably priced for the mass market.

There’s a robust demand for high-speed connectivity, particularly with the youth who’re data-hungry relating to consuming multimedia content material(video streaming, music, gaming, stay sports activities, cloud storage), cell and cloud-based gaming.

Many cellphone makers are speeding to launch affordable 5G devices to permit prospects to hook up with the community.

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