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Infrastructure deployment improvement across Sub-Saharan Africa extended mobile internet coverage to more than 80 million people in 2018, with multiple markets across the continent contributing to this expansion, according to GSMA. The range of innovations in network infrastructure has been a key factor in this progress.
Although there are many complex challenges that must be addressed when it comes to digital skills gaps and affordability, I am hopeful that the region is taking steps in the right direction.
During Africa Com, Africa’s largest telco, media and technology event, we’ll be joining 15,000 tech enthusiasts who are eager to discuss Africa’s connectivity infrastructure, disruptive technologies, digital services and ICT strategies. It’s an exciting time for a region that has the chance to one day leapfrog in technology as 5G related activities will become more widespread across Africa from mid-way through the decade.
According to GSMA, by 2025, there will be commercial 5G services in at least seven markets, including Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, with 28 million 5G connections (equivalent to 3% of total mobile connections) between them. South Africa’s data-only operator Rain has launched the continent’s first commercial 5G network earlier this year and countries are moving quickly toward a state of readiness with 4G adoption approaching mass market and operators progressing with network modernisation initiatives.
Most people think of 5G as a new wireless service for faster smartphones, but it is also a medium that enables a city to become smarter. Citizens and visitors will one day demand new applications also be integrated into city services and capabilities. Growing urban demographics and the rapid expansion of cities will encourage governments to deploy smart city solutions to sustain city services, drive economic competitiveness, and enable a thriving environment in Africa. We see smart city initiatives in the region predominantly focus on four areas: mobility, security, sustainability, and public services.
Check out this video on how to build a smart city and the types of technologies that will enable a digital transformation in the region.