Mobile operator Orange Mali has announced the launch of a 5G pilot in the country’s capital of Bamako. Orange is inviting customers to be the first to test the new network.
A launch event on 7 July was attended by government officials including Harouna Mamadou Toureh, the Minister of Communication, Digital Economy and Modernisation of the Administration.
Developing Telecoms reports that this new pilot phase has been authorised by the Malian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Information and Communication Technologies, and Posts (AMRTP).
These tests represent the latest developments in the operator’s mobile strategy, having introduced 4G+ services in the country in 2019. Orange is testing 5G in Mali seven months after testing the technology in Senegal.
“The 5th generation of mobile or 5G technology will allow us to respond to the explosion in mobile traffic as well as to the growing demand for our customers’ needs in terms of quality of connectivity,” says Brelotte Ba, CEO of Orange Mali.
“Ten times faster than 4G, 5G makes it possible to do even better. It is an infrastructure that will revolutionize the use of digital technology in Mali.”
“In addition to facilitating school education and online work, it enables the growth of mobile network traffic and remote surgeries using a robot. It is a real technological revolution which the country now has,” he added.
This development is in line with Orange Group CEO Stephane Richard’s declared intentions to launch 5G across the group’s African markets during H2 2021 and 2022.
5G has continued to grow steadily in Africa, with many telecom operators across the continent investing in the technology.
Sub-Saharan Africa Expected to Reach 70 Million 5G Subscriptions in the Next 5 Years
Mobile broadband subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa are predicted to increase, reaching 76% of mobile subscriptions by 2026. However, 5G volumes are not expected to grow in the region for 2021 but are likely to reach around 70 million 5G subscriptions in 2026.
The forecast, which features in the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, confirms the expectation that 5G will become the fastest adopted mobile generation. 5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone.