The Agency for Regulation of Technology and Communication (Autorite de Regulation des Technologies de Communications, ARTEC) has revealed that some technical issues still need to be resolved before 5G services can be launched in Madagascar, but it expects they will become operational ‘soon’. In a press release, the watchdog explained that ‘anomalies’ were still being detected during 5G tests conducted by an unnamed national operator at 20 sites (17 in Antananarivo and three in Taomasina), resulting in interference with neighbouring frequency bands. As part of its efforts to ensure that 5G spectrum can be allocated ‘under optimal conditions’, ARTEC said it plans to publish a roadmap detailing measures to reorganise frequency band usage.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2020 ARTEC ordered Telecom Malagasy (Telma) to deactivate a 5G network launched in Antananarivo and Taomasina the previous month using spectrum in the 3.6GHz-3.7GHz band. Noting the operator’s temporary permit did not authorise the marketing of commercial services, ARTEC also highlighted that it was a condition of the authorisation that all tests were to be conducted within an enclosed building, ‘whereas the operator had performed trials on more than ten outdoor sites without prior notification’.

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