MTN Zambia said it has become the first mobile operator in the country to offer 5G services commercially after successful trials over eleven months. CEO Bart Hofker said 5G services had been activated to cover about 65 percent of the population in the cities of Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola as well as parts of Chingola, Solwezi and Kalumbila. This translates into about 15 percent of the population.

Hofker said that MTN Zambia plans to reach 100 percent 5G coverage in Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola by the middle of 2023, while gradually expanding the 5G network to other locations. He pointed out that MTN Zambia customers need a 5G-enabled device to connect to the new network where it is available.

The introduction of 5G is part of a wider network strategy for MTN Zambia. Other programmes involve the optimisation and modernisation of existing 3G and 4G networks, the building of a fibre ring in Zambia with MTN GlobalConnect, as well as the extension of coverage in more rural areas. Through its rural connectivity programme, MTN Zambia and its partners plan to use cost-effective coverage alternatives to launch 45 rural sites in 2022 and another 100 in 2023, Hofker said.

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