MTN Zambia has launched a 5G network, becoming the first mobile operator in Zambia to offer 5G services commercially, after successfully running trials over the past 11 months.

“The launch of this ultra-fast communication capacity serves as a clear indication of MTN’s commitment to being a major player in Zambia’s digital economy…we look forward to continuing to work together to meaningfully impact the growth and development of Zambia,” said Mcebisi Jonas

, Chairman of the MTN Group.

In a statement, MTN Zambia CEO, Bart Hofker, said MTN’s 5G services have been activated to cover about 65% of the population in the cities of Lusaka, Kitwe, and Ndola, as well as parts of Chingola, Solwezi, and Kalumbila. This represents about 15% of the population. 

“We plan to reach 100% 5G coverage in Lusaka, Kitwe, and Ndola by the middle of 2023, while gradually expanding the 5G network to other locations,” he said, adding that MTN Zambia customers need a 5G-enabled device to connect to the network where it is available.

Dignitaries who attended the launch event at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka include His Excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, the President of the Republic of Zambia; MTN Group CEO, Ralph Mupita; MTN Group Southern and East Africa vice president, Yolanda Cuba, as well as several Zambian government ministers and representatives of the sector’s regulator and the central bank.

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 to more rural areas. 

Through their 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.

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