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Africa Not Yet Ready For 5G Network, Says MTN CEO

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Rob Shuter, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, has said Africa isn’t yet ready for next-generation 5G network.

According to Shuter, the continent could be ready for the technology, probably in five years from now.

Reuters quoted Shuter as saying this on Tuesday at a telecoms conference in Durban, South Africa.

His words:-

“This is the technology that would be used for very specific cases. It would not be a technology for everybody because most people don’t need it; your phone works fine on just 3G.

“You also need the equipment itself. So right now there are no 5G handsets and even the routers that can receive 5G network are very few and very expensive.

“What we are doing now is to learn from the technology and get our network ready for it but I think 3G is much more relevant in most of our markets.”

Relying on denser arrays of small antennas and the cloud, Reuters reported that 5G networks, now in the final testing stage, will offer data with speed as much as 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks. It will also serve as critical infrastructure for several industries.

The MTN CEO, however, declined comments on the legal issues with Nigeria, noting that the matter is in court.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had fined the telecommunications company, and four banks the sum of N5.87 billion following allegations of “remittance of foreign exchange with irregular certificates of capital importation issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and subsequent investigations carried out by the apex bank in March 2018”.


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