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The Road to 5G: Ericsson shows Africa the way



  • Ericsson Mobility Report November 2017 highlights the use of 5G Technology

By Marvin Ogah

World renowned mobile telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson has predicted a billion subscribers to 5G technology globally by 2023 as opposed to now, 2017 with a number of Zero subscribers.

Africa as a whole occupies only a number of 20 million subscribers which is an estimated 0.02% out of this given figure.

Discussed at ‘Ericsson Media Roundtable Nigeria’, today, December 6, 2017 were diverse implementations of 5G technology and how much Africa would be involved in this new innovation.

It took place as a Video Conference between Ericsson executives located in Senegal and various IT Reporters in Nigeria from various media channels and news networks.

Executive Head of Ericsson West Africa – Nicholas Blixell, illustrated use case scenarios on business areas where 5G’s innovation would be visible, therefore pointing out focus market industries including, medicine & healthcare, energy & utilities, mining & discovery, manufacturing, agriculture and a massive Internet of Things (IoT) integration for Machine Type Communications (MTC).  

He further proclaimed the First roll-out of 5G happening by 2020 and a pioneer launch of 5G in the forthcoming winter olympics in South Korea by 2018.

       “In 2023, the number of 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband is forecast to reach 1 billion. The evolution to 5G will also enable a range of new use cases transforming business processes and leisure time.’’ Ericsson Mobility Report 2017

Over 20% of world’s population will access 5G in 2023 says Ericsson but the presented infographics shows Africa occupying a small space in all use cases, but still, given research data has birthed measures to maximize the Middle East and Africa’s participation in this global concept.  

Ericsson report on 5G: is Africa ready?

Nigeria, South-Africa, Ivory-Coast and Kenya; these are African countries amongst the Sub-Saharan Africa market segments that are believed to be in the right track to this innovation, this said market is a sub-segment of the Middle-East and Africa combined.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE is expected to represent around 90% of total broadband subscriptions in 2023, and a dropdown is perceived for the usability of 2G networks, as there is data driven by affordability of smartphones and also investments from capitalists.

“The growth of mobile user subscriptions in the Sub-Saharan is twice as fast as the global average and smartphone subscriptions will grow from 50% to 85% thus, the Sub-Saharan is a potentially saturated market.”  says Blixell.

Nigeria’s data traffic is said to grow 5 folds in 5 years, so if the Sub-Saharan Africa engages in IoT and Industrial Digitalisation, it will then offer New Revenue Streams with a Top four focus market Industry of Energy, Agriculture, health-care and education.

Ericsson’s mobility report basically points out Africa’s role to play in the voyage to 5G, it elaborates that the 5G upgrade will be adapted with a rapid speed as compared to earlier adoption rate.

But on the downside, this technology is all set to be initially released for densely populated urban areas.         


@TechEconomyNG connects past-present-emerging technological impacts on Businesses, People and Cities. All Correspondence to: [email protected]