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Is Africa even serious about 5g?


The hottest topic in tech right now is 5g. Everyone is talking about how 5g will change our daily lives with some being pessimistic about it while others are overly optimistic. I lean on the optimistic side. Consider this: 5g will be so fast that 4g is like a tortoise in comparison. In all fairness, 5g is like a rocket while 4g is like a bicycle; the speed difference is just massive. With 5g, we will be able to fully connect the internet of things. Imagine a network of self driving cars in sync to avoid traffic jams and maximise on efficiency. With 5g, you can have an operation while you are in Zimbabwe and the surgeon is on the other side of the world. Candidly, there will be problems with 5g but thats a topic for another day. Let’s dive into our topic.

Africa is quite slow when it comes to adapting new technology, even if that tech originated from the continent (no, I am not saying 5g originated from Africa, I am just saying in a general sense). This hinders growth as slow adoption can delay benefits of using tech earlier. Take Youtube for instance, early adopters rode the early wave and they are raking in millions now while late adopters struggles to reach even 100 subs.

It’s impressive to note that things are changing as countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa usually take bold moves in tech with Kenya actually being among the best countries in fintech. Kenya and South Africa are currently the only countries that have rolled out 5g networks. Thats just two countries out of 54 countries. Compare to 25 countries in Europe that now have 5g and 31 in Asia. We are not doing enough.

This makes you wonder whether Netone, Telecel or Econet even have CEOs that are up to date with times. Early adoption can be the sole determining factor to create a monopoly. Sadly, some parts in Zimbabwe barely even have a connection to 2g.


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