Ethio Telecom has announced the launch of its pre-commercial 5G services in Addis Ababa, but the operator warned a full launch will depend on demand.
In a statement, the state-owned operator detailed that it has put online six base stations for this pre-launch which provides up to 10GBps speeds, low latency rates of less than 1ms, and communications capacity of one million connections within 1km square. Ethio Telecom said due to the advances in connectivity 5G brings, mission-critical industries such as healthcare and manufacturing will see a positive “impact”.
However, full commercialisation will depend on “demand from players in the ecosystem”, consumer “readiness” for the service which correlates with the availability of 5G devices and smartphones, and enterprise demand.
The operator said in a statement: “Our pre-commercial deployment of the 5G service in Addis Ababa, as the capital city of our country and the diplomatic seat of international and continental institutions is in line with our aspiration to become a preferred operator as well as with our three years’ growth strategy and technology roadmap.”
Huawei was highlighted as a key supplier for the construction of Ethio Telecom’s 5G network.
Eyes will now be on rival Safaricom which only recently entered the traditionally closed-off Ethiopian market. Safaricom recently ended network sharing negotiations with Ethio Telecom, a move to kickstart its infrastructure rollout in the country.