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Ethio Telecom Rolls Out pre-Commercial 5G Service

ADDIS ABABA – Ethio Telecom, state-owned mobile network operator, has launched a pre-commercial 5G network in Ethiopia today. 

“We are pleased to announce the launching of our pre- commercial 5G services in Addis Ababa in six mobile stations,” announced the telecom firm during the official unavailing ceremony held at SheratonAddis on Monday

The telecom firm expanded the 3G and 4G networks throughout the nation, achieving 97% telecom services coverage.

It has now rolled out a pre-commercial 5G network service in Addis Ababa after securing a temporary 5G Spectrum approval from the Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA).

The launch of the 5G , Etho telecom says, is part of its effort to enhance and modernize the telecom services in the country.

“As part of the pre-commercial trial service, we have begun our service in the Capital and will expand our footprint to regional cities up to 150 sites over the coming 12 months,” it added.

However, the full commercialization of the service would depend “on the readiness and demand from the players in the ecosystem”, its officials said.

It would look into the customers’ readiness to use the service, availability of 5G enabled devices and Smartphones, the need and readiness of enterprises to use the service.

“This 5G service will provide our customers with best-in-class solutions, improve their experience and allow our enterprise customers to boost productivity, enhance operational efficiency, and introduce new solutions to their customers,” said the telco.

The telecom firm implemented the 5G project using technology with the support of Chinese company Huawei.

“Huawei is honored and delighted to collaborate with Ethio Telecom to launch the 5G network in the capital,” said Hou Wei, Vice President of Huawei Northern Africa at the launching ceremony. 

Huawei has been active in the Ethiopian market for more than 20 years, and collaborated with Ethio telecom in various projects including mobile money transfer platform Telebirr.

The 5G launch “will pave the way to more and more success,” said Vice President Wei.  

Fifth generation standard

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. 

It offers data speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G and lower latency, and also supports up to 1 million connected devices per square kilometer, compared to up to 100,000 for 4G.

With such high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, 5G will impact industries such as mission-critical services requiring real time decisions. Manufacturing plants, remote Health care, precision Agriculture, self-driving vehicles, IoT, real-time operations making them all a reality.