Ethiopia launches 5g network, after South Africa, Kenya others in Africa
Ethiopia’s state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, has introduced 5G mobile phone networks in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Ethio Telecom hopes the move will give it an edge over upcoming competition – a consortium of international telecom providers entering the country’s lucrative market for the first time.

The move gives residents in selected places in Addis Ababa the chance to get 5G mobile networks on their mobile phones with data speed 20 times faster than their current 4G networks.

Ethio Telecom plans to introduce some 150 5G sites in and outside the capital in the coming year.

However, the expansion of the network is dependent on “the readiness of the players in the ecosystem”, including the availability of 5G enabled devices and smartphones, the company said in a statement.

Chinese telecom giant Huwawei is supplying the necessary equipment for the services.

Ethiopia is not the first country to roll out 5G.

Globally, at least 81 countries—outside Africa—have 5G available in certain regions. In Africa, at least 18 countries are testing out 5G or have plans to launch it, and 6 countries—South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Seychelles—have launched 5G. Ethiopia will be the seventh.

And Nigeria may be 8th. After running tests, both MTN and Mafab—having recently acquired their operating licenses—announced that 5G rollout in Nigeria will kick off in August 2022.

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