Ericsson’s most recent mobility report has revealed that Sub-Saharan Africa will see rapid growth in 5G, with Nigeria and South Africa leading the way.
According to the report, the two countries will increase the number of 5G connections on the African continent from 7 million to 150 million by 2028.
The continent’s two largest economies are also expected to benefit greatly from the technology, which the report claims will drive smart industries and agriculture.
4G subscriptions, following the report, are expected to increase from 260 million in 2022 to 600 million in 2028.
While noting that 2G connections continue to account for roughly half of all mobile subscriptions in SSA, Ericsson predicted that the number of people using 2G would decline significantly over the next six years as subscribers migrate to 4G and 5G networks.
Apart from having Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, with a population of over 200 million people, has the most mobile subscriptions on the continent and is expected to lead in 5G. The country already granted 5G licences to two telecommunications companies, MTN and Mafab Communications, last year.
While MTN has since launched the country’s first 5G network, Mafab is set to launch the network in January of next year.
Meanwile, the Nigerian Communications Commission just confirmed Airtel as the sole bidder for another 5G licence, bringing the total number of operators to three.
It is worth noting that South Africa was the first African country to launch 5G in 2020. MTN, Vodacom, and Rain have all deployed 5G networks in the country.
The Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Hossam Kandeel, commented on the report, saying:
“Connectivity in Africa plays a critical role in the upliftment of the continental economy. The growth in 5G and 4G network coverage will become a major catalyst for innovation, connection, and opportunity for Africans everywhere. We are proud to be a part of this journey.”