The fifth generation of mobile services has grown at a record pace in the past four years. There are already 260 5G networks in operation worldwide and well over a billion 5G subscribers, with that number expected to reach 1.5 billion by the end of 2023.
In Southern Africa, more than 13 countries have already deployed 5G, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Somalia. In South Africa, some operators have deployed in the region of a thousand 5G sites each.
The development of 5G has helped operators increase their revenue. Development of 5G has happened much faster than it did for 4G over the same period from launch. In fact, it took 5G five three years to achieve what it took 4G five years to do.
Indeed, 5G has become the new engine of the digital economy. Compared to last year, the contribution of 5G to the global economy has increased by 50%.
5G penetration in Africa is still low, however, and 4G and 5G technologies will coexist on the continent for a long time to come. Therefore, investment in 4G and 5G needs to be balanced. 4G is still a basic network and needs to be enhanced continuously. At the same time, we should invest significantly in 5G, which can bring huge market opportunities.
In future, 5G will help industries upgrade. Huawei will continue to work with operators to promote the development of Africa’s digital economy. Huawei believes that 5G will flourish in Southern Africa in the next few years.
5G market opportunities
In addition, to-consumer (ToC), to-home (ToH) and to-business (ToB) services will continue to bring in large market opportunities:
- ToC is the basis of wireless services. With the continuous development of low-priced terminals, 5G mobile broadband will become the main driving force for growth.
- In the early stages of 5G development in emerging markets, fixed-wireless access (FWA) has an important role to play. The large number of unconnected homes in Africa will bring huge market opportunities. 5G FWA is becoming the first choice for home broadband.
- ToB services, such as smart port, smart mine, are a powerful opportunity in the government and enterprise markets to promote 5G. Connection services into small businesses, governments and enterprises can bring big benefits. 5G ToB is accelerating revenue growth in the ICT industry.
And 5G is not slowing in its development: 5.5G will bring huge market opportunities, increasing existing capabilities 10-fold: up to 10Gbit/s downstream, 1Gbit/s upstream, 100 billion connections and native intelligence.
The global 5G wave will become stronger and stronger. Africa is entering the 5G era at the same time as the rest of the world. In future, 5G will enable society to provide better digital services for individuals, families and enterprises, and bring more business opportunities to operators.
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