There’s been no let-up in 5G activity lately, with Zambia’s MTN announcing the country’s first 5G launch and Telia highlighting a dynamic spectrum sharing-based 5G launch now underway in Lithuania.
The MTN rollout is described as a pilot launch. It is going ahead in partnership with Huawei and even gained ministerial recognition when the Zambian Minister of Science and Technology, Felix Mutati, attended a 5G demonstration in Lusaka earlier this week. While this is not a widescale rollout, the minister was able to claim that it puts Zambia among the first ten African countries currently piloting 5G.
Local press reports say that Huawei’s cooperation with MTN dates as far back as 2013 when the two partners introduced the first 4G network, followed by a 4.5G network in 2016.
There’s also a 5G buzz in Lithuania where Telia has launched 5G in Vilnius. Telia Lietuva is using existing commercial frequencies in the 2100MHz band, having tested 5G technology in Lithuania for three years.
According to TeleGeography's CommsUpdate, 20 base stations have started operating in the Vilnius districts of Antakalnis, Sauletekis and Naujoji Vilnia. The firm has deployed dynamic spectrum sharing technology, which allows the same frequency band to be used in parallel for both 4G and 5G connections.
Further opportunities may present themselves after Lithuania finally goes ahead with an auction for spectrum in the 700MHz band; this is expected to happen in the next few months.