Vodacom deploys Tanzania’s first 5G network

The city of Dar es Salaam will receive the first 5G sites, with coverage expanding to 230 locations across the country later this year

Vodacom Tanzania, part of Vodafone Group, has launched the first 5G mobile network in Tanzania. The city of Dar es Salaam will receive the first 5G sites, with coverage expected to expand to 230 locations across the country, including to parts of Arusha, Dodoma, Mwanza, Iringa, Kagera, Zanzibar and Mbeya by November of this year.

“Having been first to launch 5G in Africa, this is an exciting milestone in Vodacom’s history as we continue to densify 5G services across our Africa markets, bringing the continent closer to the global digital economy through the latest generation of mobile technology,” said Shameel Joosub, group CEO of Vodacom. “Congratulations to the Tanzanian team for bringing us one step closer to an inclusive, fully digitized future for all Africans.”

According to the operator, smartphone users will get speeds of up 400Mbps initially, and in the coming months, can expect speeds of more than 800Mbps. This, said the company, will increase to 1Gbps once the 5G spectrum is made fully available.

Many African countries are facing 5G delays due to unclear spectrum regulations and low citizen purchasing power. According to Quartz Africa, only Ethiopia, Botswana, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have launched 5G services, many of which are not yet commercially viable.

In Tanzania, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology Nape Nnauye, who attended the launch event via hologram, expressed optimism about the deployment and what it will mean for the country. He congratulated Vodacom and encouraged “entrepreneurs, businesses, innovators and ministries to tap into this 5G network and transform this nation.”

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