Note that the current 5G network penetration in Africa is so low that ICT experts have predicted that around 20 million African users will use it in the next 5 years. Apparently, this is very catastrophic for a continent with a population of over a billion people.
Meanwhile, an industry player has revealed what could be a major roadblock to rolling out the superfast network. According to Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, the high cost of 5G-enabled phones is a major hurdle.
“Until 5G-capable handsets are at sufficient scale from an individual mobile perspective, there’s not a great need for a lot of sites that offer 5G. 5G-enabled devices are still very expensive and that’s one of the reasons we’re focusing more on the 4G side and letting 5G serve homes rather than your mobile internet,” Business Daily quoted the CEO as saying.
Indeed, it won’t make much economic sense for African telecom operators to go ahead and deploy the 5G network on a commercial scale if their customers don’t have access to phones capable of ‘utilize.
On the other hand, you can’t help but sympathize with African cell phone users, many of whom would love to have faster internet but can’t afford the cost of upgrading their phones; amid the difficult economic challenges plaguing the continent.