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5G: 28 million devices in Sub-Saharan Africa will be connected by 2025 – GSMA

The Global System for Mobile Telecommunications Association (GSMA) has stated that about 28 million devices in Sub-Saharan Africa representing a total of 2.7% of total connections will be connected to the 5G network by 2025.

Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at GSMA said this during a Huawei online interview with journalists across Africa.

Goodluck explained that when 5G eventually comes to Sub-Saharan Africa, it will be more for the enterprise market as opposed to the retail consumer market.

His words,” we will see little 5G hotspots in countries like South Africa. I know that some operators have started some of those things, but the ultimate goal will be for us to fill up the 4G pipes and then when 5G comes there will be a sort of limit in terms of wireless roll-outs, but the bottom line is governments need to aggressively focus on the roll-out and adoption of the 4G as markets become more sophisticated, demand will help governments to put in the right policies to support 5G.”

A 2019 State of Mobile Internet Connectivity Report released by GSMA further revealed that global internet penetration has passed 50%, with Africa at 24%. Mobile internet users will increase to 483 million by 2025 representing 66% of total smartphone connections.

It further revealed that unique mobile subscribers will increase to 623 million by 2025 representing 50% penetration rate as against 444 million in 2017 and 456 million in 2018.

While more than two-thirds of the population are connected to the internet in North America and Europe, access levels remain below a third in Africa, India and much more of the sub-continent.

Reacting to the report, Goodluck explained that many African governments were mitigating this challenge as there had been an organic expansion of broadband infrastructure and network sharing in rural areas.

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