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Scope of mobile networks in Africa

I do think we just need a reliable 3G in Africa. While 5G sounds trendy and connotes “progress”, the fact is this: most things many people do in Africa would just be fine with a reliable 3G. So, looking at this report from Quartz, it tells me that even the 5G is an illusion for a very long time. Yes, do not expect it anytime soon. So, making 3G more reliable could be a playbook our telecoms could pursue.

But, as data from the GSMA Mobile Economy report shows, 3G will remain the most dominant network (58%) for the 1.05 billion mobile connections projected in Africa by 2025. “The focus in the near term for operators and other stakeholders is to increase 4G uptake,” the report states. Indeed, 4G connections are expected to account for only 27% of mobile connections by 2025—up from 4% today.

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It's the same with electricity, not many consumers need 24/7 power supply here, only a small percentage are at that level.

Majority of the broadband users are very fine with a good 3G connectivity, they rarely have any need beyond that speed, certainly not when the predominant online activities revolve around opera mini browser and social media pages; you do not need 4G or 5G to be a rockstar at that demand level.

So, whether for electricity or broadband connectivity, it will be more efficient and effective to follow the usage data and plan the rollout and scaling accordingly; nobody gets a trophy for underutilization of expensive resources.