Exciting times are on the horizon for Ugandans as they stand at the threshold of experiencing lightning-fast internet like never before. MTN Uganda, a leading African telecom company, is making this possible with the launch of the country’s first-ever 5G internet connectivity.
MTN Uganda’s journey towards a 5G network began in 2020 when they teamed up with their partners for a Proof of Concept (POC) to assess the capabilities of this cutting-edge service. Following that, a strategic five-year partnership was forged with China’s Huawei to undertake an extensive 5G-capable core network modernization project, leading to the historic launch of Uganda’s first 5G industrial use case in May 2023.
To turn the 5G vision into reality, MTN Uganda invested a considerable sum of UGX 95.4 billion (equivalent to US$25.4 million). This investment aimed at expanding the existing 4G network to 5G, enhancing fixed broadband access infrastructure, and laying the groundwork for an official 5G service launch in early 2023.
With the 5G network now in place, Ugandans can expect to enjoy advanced high-speed mobile internet services with reduced latency, which will significantly elevate the overall user experience.
As Uganda’s leading telecom operator with a subscriber base of over 17 million at the end of March 2023, MTN is poised to drive the nation’s digital and financial inclusion with its 5G service.
This milestone puts Uganda in the league of other African countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria that have already embraced 5G technology.
Looking forward, MTN Uganda has ambitious plans to expand 5G coverage substantially. By the end of 2024, the company aims to achieve full 5G coverage in the capital city, Kampala and intends to extend its 5G base to all major cities over the next couple of years.
Interestingly, MTN was not alone in preparing for the 5G revolution in Uganda. Its chief competitor, Airtel, had taken significant steps towards 5G readiness, completing a full upgrade of its core network as early as February. However, despite being fully equipped to embrace 5G technology, Airtel is yet to take the plunge into commercial 5G services.