Uganda, The first country in EA to launch 5G Network

On Friday , 17th January, MTN Uganda showcases the first-ever 5G demo in East Africa

Uganda has launched 5th Generation network, becoming the 3rd African country to embrace 5G network after South Africa and Nigeria.

The deal which took place on Friday, January 17, 2019, will see the enhancement of speed and responsiveness of Uganda’s wireless networks.

Partnership between MTN and the Chinese multinational company, ZTE, facilitated the launch –making Uganda the first country in East and Central Africa to clasp the more advanced wireless network technology.

Although the Friday launch was meant to serve as a trial, the full integration will take place soon, allowing Ugandans to enjoy flawless, speedy, and highly responsive network.

“The roll-out of 5G wireless network will play a significant role in enabling sharp increase in the amount of data transmitted over the wireless systems.”

5G network will provide exceptional user experience due to the availability of more bandwidth and advanced antenna technology. Owing to the evolution of global digital services, Uganda will have a remarkable opportunity to advance its technological capabilities –offering Ugandans a platform for invention and progressive digital growth.

The main advantages of the 5G are a greater speed in the transmissions, a lower latency and therefore greater capacity of remote execution, a greater number of connected devices and the possibility of implementing virtual networks (network slicing), providing more adjusted connectivity to concrete needs.

Greater speed in transmissions

Speed in transmissions can approach 15 or 20 Gbps. By being able to enjoy a higher speed we can access files, programs and remote applications in a totally direct and without waiting. By intensifying the use of the cloud, all devices (mobile phones, computers, etc.) will depend less on the internal memory and on the accumulation of data and it won’t be necessary to install a large number of processors on some objects because computing can be done on the Cloud.

For example, being able to activate software remotely as if it were executed in personal devices, will allow not having installed the mobile applications (APPs) in the terminal and executing them directly from the cloud. Just as it will no longer be necessary to store the information in the memory of the device (photos, videos, etc).

Lower latency

Latency is the time that elapses since we give an order on our device until the action occurs. In 5G the latency will be ten times less than in 4G, being able to perform remote actions in real time.

Thanks to this low latency and the increase of the sensors, it is possible to control the machinery of an industrial plant, control logistics or remote transport, surgical operations in which the doctor can intervene a patient who is at another side of the world with the help of precision instrumentation managed remotely or the complete control of remote transport systems, automated and without driver

Greater number of connected devices

With 5G the number of devices that can be connected to the network increases greatly, it will go to millionaire scale per square kilometer.

All connected devices will have access to instant connections to the internet, which in real time will exchange information with each other. This will favor the IOT.

It is anticipated that a common home will have a hundred connected devices sending and receiving information in real time. If we think of industrial plants we would speak of thousands of connected devices.

This greater number of connected devices will allow the smart cities and the autonomous car.

For example, by placing sensors in different points and objects in the city, a large part of it can be monitored. If you share the information of the sensors of the cars and those of the city, and these exchange data you can improve the quality of life of the cities, facilitate the navigation of the autonomous car (choose better routes, reduce the number of accidents, find available parking spaces, etc.)

Network slicing

The 5G also allows to implement virtual networks (network slicing), create subnets, in order to provide connectivity more adjusted to specific needs.

The creation of subnetworks will give specific characteristics to a part of the network, being a programmable network and will allow to prioritize connections, as could be the emergencies in front of other users, applying for example different latencies or prioritizing them in the connection to the network so that they can’t be affected by possible overloads of the mobile network.

Apart from Nigeria and South Africa, Uganda will join other tech-giants like China, UK, US, and South Korea, and Germany who have already embraced and deployed 5G network.

This incredible milestone puts Uganda ahead of other East African countries like Kenya and Rwanda who are often paraded as technological titans.    


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