About the 5G Conversations in Africa

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I am spending the week in Cape Town involved in a variety of events including Africa com, African Arena and the USAID Challenge


There are variety of excitement and intense discussions on 5G, but I am not as excited as the proponent who are making wild accretion of 5G and it uses across the African continent.

There are a lot of optimistic reports of 5G in Africa and its use cases in driverless cars, eLearning ,eHealth and IOT  usually quoting the overall mobile penetration of 70% on Africa and using a select few countries in South and North Africa to buttress their points  i.e. South Africa , Tunisia, Morocco

This is what is forgotten in these discussions are:

  • Currently above 50% of the mobile broadband penetration across the continent is 3G
  • South Africa has 70% broad and penetration of  and with telecom players like Vodacom planning 5G trials  of but the whole SADC (Southern African Development Community)  region has 4% 4G penetration
  • Morocco, with its 3.4 million 4G subscribers, accounts for 14% of total 4G subscribers in Africa.


What have we learnt about the poor penetration of 4G across Africa and how are we ensuring we don’t do the same first 5G?