MTN Uganda was the first telecom operator to test 5G in East Africa in January 2020. The company and its rival Airtel Uganda are only waiting for authorization from the telecom regulator to deploy the ultra high commercial throughput in Uganda. 

Mobile operator MTN Uganda is investing in upgrading its telecom network to prepare for the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology. So said Sylvia Mulinge, the company’s chief executive, in the financial results for the first quarter of 2023, published on Wednesday, May 3.

“ As part of our transition to 5G, MTN Uganda has launched a partnership with Huawei Technologies to align our infrastructure with a cloud-native 5G core network. This initiative will enable a future-oriented network with greater service agility, innovation for consumers and industry verticals, and improved operational efficiency,” says Mulinge  .

MTN Uganda began to take an interest in ultra-broadband in January 2020. The company had carried out a test of the technology with the technical support of the Chinese company ZTE. However, commercial deployment of 5G in Uganda remains subject to regulatory clearance from the Uganda Communications Authority (UCC). The latter plans to deploy the telecom frequency spectrum for 5G before the end of the second quarter of 2023.

It should be recalled that in the first quarter of 2023, MTN Uganda invested 95.4 billion Ugandan shillings (25.6 million USD) in its network. The company focused on extending 4G, rolling out fiber optic network and upgrading infrastructure. This enabled it to reach 80.7% coverage of the population in 4G against 65.1% in the first quarter of 2022.

With the rollout of 5G, MTN Uganda hopes to meet the demands of its growing subscribers. According to the company’s latest results, the number of mobile subscribers grew by 11.6% year-on-year to 17.8 million in the first quarter of 2023. Active data subscribers reached 6.7 million , representing growth of 25%.

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