It’s not just in India that telecoms giant Airtel is driving 5G rollout. A recent announcement from Airtel Uganda highlights plans to upgrade key infrastructure for 5G purposes.
Airtel Ugand Managing Director Manoj Murali, and Rajesh Agrawal, Network Director at Airtel Uganda, announced at a recent press briefing that what they called the Airtel Uganda Smartphone Network is now ready for 5G technology
Eleven towers have successfully tested the 5G technology in Uganda, in areas including the Industrial area, Garden City Area, Upper Kololo, Clement Hill, Hannington Road, Lower Airstrip Kololo and Wampewo Avenue.
Customers with 5G-compatible devices can now enjoy the 5G experience using their existing 4G SIM cards, implying perhaps that this is a non-standalone 5G offering. All other Airtel sites across the country have been configured and are ready for deployment once the spectrum has been allocated.
Of course this is the important point. Without spectrum, true 5G will not be attainable. In fact Manoj Murali revealed that Airtel Uganda has already applied for the required spectrum from the sector regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
According to Statista, in the second quarter of 2022, MTN Uganda held a majority of the share of mobile subscriptions in the country with 53%. Airtel Uganda’s share of wireless subscriptions reached 42% as of 2022.