5G remains newsworthy, as a recent Vodafone Qatar announcement proves, but news from Guinea is a useful reminder of the continuing relevance – and rollout – of 4G.
Vodafone Qatar has claimed a first for the country: the Gulf region’s first local and international live mobile calls via a 5G handset, which took place over Vodafone Qatar’s GigaNet 5G network.
Late last week, Saif Al Sulaiti, Qatar’s Minister of Transport and Communications, called Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), from the National Museum of Qatar. He then made a live 5G local call from the museum to Vodafone Qatar’s executives located in Katara Cultural Village, where Vodafone’s 5G network has been live since December last year.
Vodafone Qatar switched on its 5G network in August last year. It received the spectrum license to operate 5G commercially from the Communications Regulatory Authority in January this year, as did rival operator Ooredoo.
Vodafone says it has rapidly deployed 5G at dozens of sites in strategic locations around the country.
However, recent news from Guinea is a useful reminder of the continuing relevance – and rollout – of 4G in many regions. Orange Guinea has announced the launch of its new LTE service; it will be available for customers with compatible SIM cards and handsets. LTE is at the moment available in the capital Conakry – where one-sixth of the Guinean population live – but will be extended to other regions in due course.
Orange received the country’s first 4G licence from the Guinean regulator last month, along with extensions for its existing 2G and 3G licences.