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Telecom Review Middle East: South Africa Shows Strong Market Power for 5G Development

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Telecom Review Middle East reported that in South Africa, 5G is a vital foundation for key digital platform ecosystems that will drive the fourth industrial revolution in the country. Mobile network operators such as MTN, Vodacom, Rain and Telkom have already deployed 5G networks to meet South Africa’s significant growth in traffic for broadband services. At the early stages of 5G network deployment and to address South Africa's bandwidth deficiency, the currently-assigned bandwidth is set to be increased by over 300 MHz through the recent auction facilitated by ICASA.

South Africa presents fast mobile network performance. In MyBroadband’s Q1 2022 speed data test report, MTN was ranked first in its mobile network performance, confirming its leading position in South Africa. The report also revealed equipment performance by different vendors, where Huawei came first with a leading 4G/5G network speed 30% to 70% faster than its competitors. As operators continue to compete for better network experience, an increase in network scalability and efficiency is anticipated.

New spectrum in South Africa accelerates fast-track digital inclusion. South Africa’s regulators completed an auction of the spectrums in 700MHz, 800MHz, 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz frequency bands for 5G services in March, which attracted active participation of all operators.

The spectrum auction facilitates the digital transformation in industry. The licensing of additional bands facilitates the use of networks, especially where 5G serves its purpose to keep bringing about digital transformation in industry. Examples could be MTN’s newly-signed MOU for smart mining or Telkom’s 5G livestream of African penguins for tourism.

It also shows that the South African government supports 5G development.The issuance of licensing in the auction includes several obligations for using broadband. For coverage obligations, operators need to achieve the population coverage of up to 80% to 97% within five years.

It is expected that the allocation of the 5G spectrum, and a quality network experience will accelerate 5G development and create social value, which will result in the rapid adoption of 5G within the potential-rich market.

About Telecom Review

Telecom Review Middle East was launched in 2005. The leading media platform covers the latest trends in the Middle East and Europe region in both print and digital editions, and provides exclusive interviews with C-level executives. Find out more at: www.telecomreview.com

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Christine Ziadeh
editorial@telecomreview.com

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