5G trials are continuing in multiple territories, but 4G is still rolling out in many developing countries.
However, news that Azerbaijani operator Azercell and Ericsson are partnering to develop 5G in Azerbaijan should come as no surprise. Ericsson and Azercell have already partnered to deliver a test 5G network in the centre of the capital, Baku, and a pre-commercial 5G pilot zone in the Fountains Square area of the city. Now Ericsson and Azercell have signed a three-year 5G Memorandum of Understanding spanning the joint deployment of 5G projects, trials and use cases.
The 2020-22 MoU will include the extension of the pilot zone, including 5G use cases, as well as the introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) technology in the mining industry, agriculture, manufacturing, housing and communal services
Also no major surprise is the news that the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) says that 80 per cent of the country’s populated areas and main cities is now covered by 5G networks. Services were launched by the UAE’s two operators, Etisalat and Du, in the middle of this year.
More interesting perhaps is news that the Vietnamese state-owned wireless operator MobiFone has been trialling 5G technology in four major cities: Hanoi, Da Nang, Hai Phong and Ho Chi Minh City. MobiFone received a one-year 5G trial licence from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in April this year.
But 4G is still the next generation as far as subscribers in many countries are concerned. Indeed Vietnam’s MobiFone has also announced that the coverage of its 4G network has been expanded to 95 per cent of the country’s territory, while Nepal Telecom, Nepal’s largest operator, has installed a new 4G LTE base transceiver station (BTS) covering Rara Lake, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, as part of its major nationwide 4G network expansion programme. The programme has extended coverage to 60 cities and more than 500 locations in all seven provinces. It seems that 4G still has a lot to offer in a lot of countries.