Ethio Telecom, the state-owned telecom service provider in Ethiopia, on Monday launched a 5G mobile phone service making Ethiopia among the leading few African countries, including Kenya in eastern Africa, to roll out the technology.
According to Ethio Telecom, the network will be available in hotspot areas in the capital Addis Ababa, including in the area around Ethio Telecom’s head office and at the premises of Bole International Airport, before being expanded to cover other parts of the country.
“The 5G service is launched in selected places in Addis Ababa. In the coming 12 months, we will have 150 5G sites in Addis Ababa and in major cities outside the capital.” Ethio Telecom CEO Frehiwot Tamru announced during a launch ceremony.
5G commercial networks have been launched in key countries such as Botswana, South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius and Zimbabwe, but the technology remains largely underdeveloped in larger parts of Africa.
According to a report by the East African Ethiopia has paid about $40 million to China’s Huawei company to deploy the network.
Mobile network operator Safaricom launched its 5G network in Kenya in March 2021, trialling the tech in four towns with plans to expand it to others.
“Perhaps next year we could see full commercial 5G services in Kenya,” the research director.
The East African economy is set to benefit from the advances that 5G would bring to several sectors, including in agriculture, and called on governments to support 5G infrastructure projects. 5G network is currently the fastest and most robust technologies the world has ever seen. The network offers data speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G.