Nigeria, 17 others testing 5G in Africa
New statistics from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has revealed that Nigeria and some 17 countries in Africa are already testing 5G capability on the continent.
Information gathered by Connecting Africa shows that, in early February 2020, “there are 24 operators in 18 African countries that are evaluating/testing/trialling/deploying 5G” and of those operators, eight “have deployed 5G into pre-commercial or commercial networks”.
Though the organisation would not name the countries or operators specifically information has it that at least three operators in South Africa have deployed pre-commercial or commercial networks – Vodacom, MTN and Rain – as well as Telma in Madagascar.
Already, MTN has tested 5G in Nigeria and Uganda; Safaricom has trialled the technology in Kenya and Gabon Telecom has tested it in Gabon.
Overall, the GSA’s snapshot report says that 61 countries or territories globally now have live 5G commercial networks.
As of the end of January 2021, the GSA recorded 144 commercial 5G networks worldwide with more to come.
Around 413 operators in 131 countries or territories are also investing in 5G networks in the form of tests, trials, pilots, and planned and actual deployments.
Further, the number of announced 5G devices rose five per cent in the first month of 2021; there are now 588 announced 5G devices, which is an increase of over 60 per cent in the last six months.
Of these 588 announced devices, 62 per cent are understood to be commercially available. This takes the total number of commercially available 5G devices to 365, representing a growth of 46.6 per cent in the last three months.
By end of January 2021, GSA had identified 20 form factors; 113 vendors are available for 5G devices; 588 announced devices (including regional variants, and phones that can be upgraded using a separate adapter, but excluding operator-branded devices that are essentially rebadged versions of other phones), including 365 that are understood to be commercially available,
According to GSA, 294 phones (up 16 from December), at least 251 of which are now commercially available (up 18 in a month). There are now 113 FWA CPE devices (indoor and outdoor), of which 42 are now commercially available; 74 modules; 31 industrial/enterprise routers/gateway/modem; 28 hotspots; eleven laptops (notebooks) and eight tablets.
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