Nigeria, other African countries target 5G in 2022

It has been predicted that Nigeria and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa will witness their first 5G subscriptions in the next five years.

Nigeria, other African countries target 5G in 2022

The number of 5G subscription in SSA is expected to reach two million by 2023, according to the November edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

The Head of Customer Unit, West Africa, Ericsson, Nicolas Blixell, while presenting the details of the report in Lagos, said the 5G networks would be concentrated in areas where it would be needed most.

Globally, he said there would be one billion 5G subscriptions to support the growing demand for mobile broadband by 2023.

According to him, the 5G network will cover over 20 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2023, and the first commercial networks, based on 5G New Radio, are expected to go live in 2019, with major deployments from 2020.

Blixell stated that countries foreseen to start the trend of 5G adoption include the United States, South Korea, Japan and China.

Highlighting the advantages of 5G over other networks, he said it was faster, did not require fibre for deployment, and had applications on remote surgery, mining and Machine Time Communication.

Presently, he said 49 per cent of network subscribers in SSA were on 2G network, 45 per cent were on 3G while six per cent had adopted the 4G LTE.

 “Africa is adopting data faster. Smartphones which cost about $40 on the average will become more affordable at $20 to $25 and its use will rise,” Blixell said, while giving reasons for the rapid growth in broadband.

 The Ericsson report stated that by the end of 2017, LTE would be the dominant mobile access technology, estimated to reach 5.5 billion subscriptions and cover more than 85 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2023.

 It predicted that mobile data traffic would surge by eight times during the forecast period, reaching 110 exabytes per month by 2023, corresponding to 5.5 million years of HD video streaming.

The report stated, “All regions maintain mobile data traffic growth, with North America showing the highest average usage per smartphone, exceeding 7GB per month by the end of 2017. Video consumption continues to fuel mobile broadband traffic growth.

“The driving forces behind video’s uptrend are the young millennials – those in the 15 to 24 age bracket – who stream 2.5 time more than those over 45 years of age.”

 The Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology and Emerging Business, Ericsson, Niklas Heuveldop, said, “The latest report highlights trends in mobile subscription and data traffic growth, as well as the industry’s effort to tackle the increasing demands on mobile networks globally.

“In addition, the report examines the emergence of new use cases as network capabilities evolve – smartwatches, IoT alarms, and augmented reality-assisted maintenance and repair, to name a few. As we prepare for 5G, these trends will continue to set the agenda for the mobile industry going forward.”


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