The Global System for Mobile Telecommunications Association (GSMA) has stated that about 28-million devices in Sub-Saharan Africa – representing a total of 2.7% of total mobile connections – will be connected to a 5G network by 2025.
Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa for the GSMA said this during a Huawei online interview. He explained that when 5G eventually comes to Sub-Saharan Africa, it will be more for the enterprise market as opposed to the retail consumer market.
“We will see little 5G hotspots in countries like South Africa. I know that some operators have started some of those, but the ultimate goal will be for us to fill up the 4G pipes. Then when 5G comes there will be a sort of limit in terms of wireless roll-outs, but the bottom line is governments need to aggressively focus on the roll-out and adoption of the 4G as markets become more sophisticated,” he says.
A 2019 State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report released by GSMA further revealed that global Internet penetration has passed 50%, with Africa at 24%. Mobile Internet users will increase to 483 million by 2025 representing 66% of total smartphone connections.
Vanguard Nigeria writes that the report further revealed that unique mobile subscribers will increase to 623-million by 2025, representing a 50% total penetration rate against 444-million in 2017, and 456-million in 2018.
While more than two-thirds of the population are connected to the Internet in North America and Europe, access levels remain below a third in Africa, India and much more of the sub-continent.
Reacting to the report, Goodluck explained that many African governments were mitigating this challenge as there had been an organic expansion of broadband infrastructure and network sharing in rural areas.