Botswana became the first Orange affiliate country in Africa to launch 5G technology after the French telecom firm Orange launched its commercial 5G network there. Botswana is located in southern Africa.
Orange says that 30% of Botswana’s people will be able to use 5G, especially in the greater Gaborone and Francistown areas. Other cities will get 5G by early 2023.
This 5G launch will help boost innovation and digital inclusion in the country. It will also put Botswana at the forefront of 5G in Africa. This is in line with the government’s goal to use innovations from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to turn Botswana into a knowledge-based economy that leaves no one behind.
The news comes after the opening of Botswana’s first Orange Digital Centre, which will help close the digital divide and get Batswana’s young people ready for jobs in the country’s growing digital ecosystem.
Since 2019, Africa has been slowly rolling out 5G technology to speed up its growth.
In September 2019, Rain, a South African telecommunications company, worked with Huawei to launch the country’s first commercial 5G network. In the fall of that year, MTN and Huawei, ZTE, and Ericsson worked together to test a 5G mobile network in several cities in Nigeria.
In 2020, ZTE and MTN started testing the first 5G network in East Africa, and MTN and the Chinese tech company Huawei started testing the fifth generation of 5G in Zambia.
In December 2021, the Nigerian government agency in charge of telecommunications gave the country’s first 5G high-speed spectrum licenses to MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications. Both companies paid the $273.6 million license fee to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in February 2022 to deploy 5G in the country.
MTN’s 5G network went live for business in 7 states, including Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Kano and Owerri, in September 2022.
The 5G high-speed internet service was introduced by Kenyan telecom Safaricom in November 2022, making it the nation’s first commercial technology provider in the East African area.