Airtel Uganda has said their Smartphone Network is now ready for the trailblazing 5G technology.
The development was announced at their Clement Hill office in Kampala by the Managing Director, Manoj Murali on Wednesday.
Uganda’s communications and information technology service 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology which enables a new kind of network and that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices at very high speeds.
It delivers higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users.
5G can support a significant higher number of devices per square kilometre compared to the existing 4G technologies.
Murali says 5G is a suitable network over which remote teams can collaborate to undertake tasks such as surgery, shared online school classes, farmers can share live video on farming tips, engineering tasks over video and stream gaming and other entertainment experiences.
The 11 towers that have successfully tested the 5G technology in Uganda include areas such as 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.
The Airtel Uganda managing director said all other Airtel sites across the country have been configured and are ready for deployment once the spectrum has been allocated.
Murali added: “I am privileged to announce yet another Airtel first milestone in Uganda’s digital transformation journey. Over this network, Airtel Uganda has delivered world class affordable voice, data, and financial services. We are pleased to start yet another journey with you on 5G.”
Murali revealed that Airtel Uganda has already applied for the required spectrum from the sector regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) in eagerness to deploy 5G.
A spectrum is a radio frequency that wireless signals travel to enable people to make calls, and use their mobile telephone devices for the internet.
However, sector observers say the move is to beat time since UCC plans to rollout the 5G spectrum to telecoms, before the end of the second quarter of this year.
“According to the National Development Plan III, use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure is a key objective. So, an agile Smartphone network like Airtel Uganda’s is pivotal in the journey of Uganda’s Economic growth through digital and financial inclusion of every person. We are completely aligned to the Uganda’s broadband Strategy and accordingly ready to launch 5G technology,” a statement from the telecom firm, added.
However, the technology will only benefit those with smartphones who are 10.9 million in Uganda. This is out of 35 million devices on the network, according to UCC’s latest data.