KAMPALA – China’s ZTE and MTN Uganda on Friday, January 18, 2020, started 5G technology trials in Kampala, to be the first who brings the Standalone 5G network into reality to East Africa as the region awaits it commercial roll out before the end of the year.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who presided over the launch, said the government supports the development of new technology provided it will solve people’s challenges and make life easier and affordable.
Dr. Rugunda was optimistic that technologies like 5G will have an impact on the economic development of the country.
Eng. Godfrey Mutabazi, Executive Director of the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC), said that as a regulator of the communications sector, they are working to ensure that there is an appropriate infrastructure that supports 5G.
“If we accept this technology, this country will be the best in Africa,” Mutabazi said, noting that Uganda is the first country in East Africa to have 5G technology and the third in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria.
Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer MTN Uganda, said 5G technology will have increased speeds and capacity with exact wireless connections but similar to fiber optic cable experience.
Mr. Vanhelleputte said this will enable easier wireless connections compared to running fiber optic cables to every facility or home.
“In the next 2-3 years, we will embark on massive commercial rollout of the technology,” he said, noting that advancements like telemedicine will be easier when there is real-time connection.
“…more than One Gigabit throughput running on the air-interface has been achieved in the limited 65 MHz spectrum. ZTE is always been considered the global 5G market leader. Our focus on technology innovation is second to none,” Mr. Yi Yahua – Vice President ZTE Corporation Southern African Region said.
He added: “ZTE is very keen on sharing the experience of this new technology with MTN. By all the joint hard working, the end-to-end field tests to provide the typical eMBB service.”
Mr. Gordian Kyomukama the new MTN South Sudan CEO said 5G will be used to test a range of 5G use cases and applications as part of MTN’s proof of concept in the region.