5G in Sub-Saharan Africa: laying the foundations

Tuesday 16 Jul 2019 |

5G in Sub-Saharan Africa: laying the foundations image

It is universally accepted that high-speed, reliable and robust network infrastructure is critical to the growth of the digital economy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, ongoing investment in 3G and 4G networks underscores the mobile industry’s contribution to the advancement of the digital economy in the region. However, the world today is on the cusp of the 5G era.

Indeed, the transition to 5G has already begun in several countries across the world, with commercial launches in 2018 and 2019. As digital trends in Sub-Saharan Africa point to growing demand for enhanced connectivity, what role will 5G play in the future connectivity landscape?

Building on insights from a survey of key local stakeholders, including policymakers, mobile operators and equipment vendors, this report establishes the outlook and expectations for the 5G era in Sub-Saharan Africa. While 5G is inevitable, given that it is a natural progression from previous technology generations, it is not imminent in most markets in the region as existing technologies are capable of supporting current use cases and demand for mobile internet connectivity. For all countries in the region, market readiness is necessary to determine the timing for the transition to 5G. This will help maximise value from 5G services for consumers, operators and the wider society.