Unitel waiting for regulatory green light for 5G launch

Unitel waiting for regulatory green light for 5G launch

Miguel Geraldes, director of Angolan market leader Unitel, has told local media that the operator is waiting for the country’s regulator INACOM (Instituto Angolano das Comunicacoes) to allocate 5G spectrum and clear operators to launch services.

The newspaper Valor Economico quoted Geraldes as saying that Unitel was discussing 5G development with the regulator, but that the operator required further clarification on the authority’s 5G licensing plans before it could commit to investment in deployment.

Unitel has planned its 5G rollout roadmap, with Geraldes confirming that the operator’s initial focus would be on urban and industrial centres including the capital of Luanda. The Benguela, Cabinda and Huila regions will also be prioritised.

In an interview published in INACOM’s website last week, Angola’s telecoms minister Manuel Homem stated that the regulator is currently “removing” entities occupying the viable 5G frequencies so that “as soon as conditions exist in the country, we will be able to deliver that frequency to operators.”

While Homem indicated that the refarming process was still underway, he also suggested that some spectrum is ready to use for 5G services, saying: INACOM has already prepared this frequency range to make it available to operators, that is, we are prepared for any of our operators who want to start the 5G operation.”

Angola’s Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication (MINTTICS) is collaborating with the International University of Cuanza (UNIC) on a “5G technology observatory” that will aim to facilitate local development of the standard.

TeleGeography reports that last month Unitel signed a three-year framework agreement with Ericsson that will see the Swedish vendor supply radio system and core solutions to transform Unitel’s current 2G/3G/4G RAN and core infrastructure, readying it for the launch of 5G.