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South Africa Takes the Lead for 5G Network Usage


South Africa emerges as the leading African country using 5G networks, since Rain, a data-only network provider, paved the way for its usage in the country. The successful usage of 5G in South Africa has encouraged other African countries to follow suit. 

TeleGeography reports which tracked the deployments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) uncover that as of March 2023.18 countries in the region are served by commercial 5G service with 8 in the Middle East and ten in Africa with Saudi Arabia leading the MEA market with over 11.2 million users at the end of 2022 and South Africa following with about 5 million subscriptions at the end of last year.

Also, in January 2020, a Zimbabwe-based Pan-African network operator publicized the launch of the first 5G wholesale roaming service in South Africa. Other network providers, like Vodacom and MTN, also launched their commercial 5G networks in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. 

To complete the spread of the 4G and 5G mobile network, the South African government gave the Telecom operators a five-year ultimatum to carry out the project to boost the rate of the country’s network activities but like the rest of the world, South Africa still faces the challenge of using 5G network because of the non-availability of infrastructures supposed to be put in place for its proper functioning.

Many experts even claimed that 5G performance didn’t match the level of expectations they placed on it. Because South Africa’s internet service is even 8% worse than the global average, the use of 5G might not seem to work out well or perform well In South Africa. 

Another African country that followed up in the usage of the 5G network is Mauritius in second place, with 80,000 representing 3.8% of its total mobile subscription. Nigeria follows with 50,000 subscribers, and Togo and Seychelles with 33,000 and 16,140 users, respectively. However, the process of the adoption of the 5G network is too demanding and this may shorten the usage of the network and elongate the time in which countries may pull resources to start a wide use of it.

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