Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) announced yesterday (22 May 2023) that it has become the first mobile network operator in Malawi to make 5G services available on a pilot basis. Following approval from the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), TNM confirmed that 5G base stations went live in two locations for users to test higher mobile data speeds while the company is also ‘inviting potential partners to identify needs for use cases for TNM to trial.’

Accessible 5G pilot sites are initially in Blantyre at Clocktower Mall (opposite Mwaiwathu Hospital) and in Lilongwe at Bingu International Convention Centre, while more sites have been earmarked for Mzuzu and Zomba.

CEO Michel Hebert noted that TNM has in the past two years invested MWK5.2 billion (USD5 million) to modernise its packet core network platform to support data traffic growth, to improve the 4G user experience and now as a platform to launch 5G, in partnership with Huawei. He declared that TNM’s 5G network will support internet speeds of up to 600Mbps per site with 50MHz of spectrum and up to 1.2Gbps per site with 100MHz of spectrum. Hebert added that alongside other user benefits such as superior latency, the 5G network will facilitate TNM broadening its services scope into areas such as mission-critical communications and massive IoT connectivity e.g. for smart agriculture, automated mining, robotics and IoT-supported logistics and manufacturing.

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