5G spectrum in Sub-Saharan Africa – building roadmaps for success
The GSMA’s “Roadmaps for 5G Spectrum: Sub-Saharan Africa” report looks at the current mobile services and spectrum status. It also sets out a roadmap to help governments and regulators maximise the benefits of 5G in the region.
The report takes a closer look at 10 countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Benin, Cameroon, DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. For each country, the report looks at the need for 5G spectrum to be made available, and the current status. It then sets out a roadmap to help governments and regulators enable 5G in the most efficient way possible. The report also provides recommendations based on international best practices.
Policy makers should aim to make available 80-100 MHz of contiguous spectrum per operator in prime 5G mid-bands (e.g. 3.5 GHz) and around 1 GHz per operator in high-bands (e.g. mmWave spectrum, such as 26 and 28 GHz). Spectrum in coverage bands, such as 700 MHz, is also needed to make the 5G vision available to everyone.
Planning and licensing approaches may vary depending on some factors, such as (i) the density of mobile use in the country, as well as the current development of 4G, (ii) the plan on moving incumbents to alternative frequency bands or technologies, and (iii) the foreseen impact on services and users.
For already assigned spectrum, it may be necessary to realign the band assignments to provide contiguous ranges. Technology neutrality of spectrum is also critical for a faster 5G adoption, when it is time, in order to maximise spectrum efficiency.
Download the “Roadmaps for 5G Spectrum: Sub-Saharan Africa” report below and find out more about spectrum needs in Africa here.