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Zambia progresses with commercial 5G as MTN announces rollout

By , ITWeb
Zambia , 25 Nov 2022

MTN Zambia today launched its 5G network and claims to be the first mobile operator in the Southern African country to offer 5G services commercially after successfully undertaking trials over the past 11 months.

MTN Chairman Mcebisi Jonas says, “The launch of this ultra-fast communication capacity serves as a clear indication of MTN’s commitment to being a major player in Zambia’s digital economy. We look forward to continuing to work together to meaningfully impact the growth and development of Zambia.”

MTN Zambia CEO Bart Hofker adds that MTN’s 5G services had been activated to cover about 65% of the population in the cities of Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola as well as parts of Chingola, Solwezi and Kalumbila. This translates into about 15% of the population. “We plan to reach 100% 5G coverage in Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola by the middle of 2023, while gradually expanding the 5G network to other locations."

MTN Zambia customers need a 5G-enabled device to connect to the 5G network where it is available.

The company underlines 5G’s strong use case in industries like mining and manufacturing.

Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita adds that MTN Zambia was the Group’s third operation in Africa (after Nigeria and South Africa) where 5G services were now commercially available. “5G can transform business and livelihoods beyond simple connectivity, with the potential to unlock many new use cases. In Zambia, we see great opportunities across many sectors, and in the mining industry in particular.”

MTN says the introduction of 5G is part of a wider network strategy, which also involves the optimisation and modernisation of existing 3G and 4G networks, the building of a fibre ring in Zambia with MTN GlobalConnect, as well as the extension of coverage in more rural areas.

“Through our rural connectivity programme, MTN Zambia and our partners plan to use cost-effective coverage alternatives to launch 45 rural sites in 2022 and another 100 in 2023,” the company states.

Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema joined MTN’s Jonas, Mupita and the company’s Southern and East Africa Vice President Yolanda Cuba at the launch of the network.

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