Orange Botswana, a subsidiary of France’s Orange Group, has launched the group’s first 5G network in Africa. The new infrastructure covers 30% of the country’s population, centred on greater Gaborone and Francistown, with other cities to follow in 2023. Orange Botswana had earlier opened a new digital innovation centre in the capital. As part of the 5G launch, Orange has partnered with MRI Botswana to create a connected ambulance project which will allow doctors to support paramedics as they transport patients to hospital.

Jerome Henique, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, said: ‘The launch of 5G technology in Botswana will allow us to scale up this technology and gain experience for other Orange countries across Africa. The benefits and potential impact of this are promising. It will help promote Africa’s digital inclusion, resulting in socio-economic growth and job creation.’

With 5G-capable handsets unaffordable for most Botswana, the initial use cases for 5G will largely be public sector, industrial and to provide broadband fixed wireless access for homes and small businesses.

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