Mobile operator Orange Mali has claimed the country’s first 5G network tests, presenting its progress at a pilot project launch event that took place on the 7th July attended by government officials including Harouna Mamadou Toureh, the Minister of Communication, Digital Economy & Modernisation of the Administration.
Agence Ecofin reports that Orange has begun testing 5G in Mali’s capital city Bamako and other regions, whilst the cellco’s CEO Brelotte Ba declared during the event, that “5G 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 thanks to its speed, responsiveness and connectivity capacity.”
5G [will support] new uses of digital technology such as virtual reality, new digital formats and content and new functionalities for both professionals and individual, he added.
Explosion in mobile traffic
According to local media reports, this pilot phase has been authorised by the Malian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Information and Communication Technologies, and Posts (AMRTP). This represents the latest development in the operator’s mobile strategy, following the introduction of 4G+ services in 2019.
“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,” Brelotte BA, CEO of Orange Mali said.
“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.
The 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.
Orange is testing 5G in Mali seven months after doing it in Senegal. Currently, the 5G market is growing rapidly in Africa said the reports. Many telecom operators have already taken the plunge.
The adoption of mobile technology is going faster than many studies predict. In its Mobility Report of November 2020, Ericsson estimated at 5 percent the perceptible volume of 5G subscriptions expected on the continent from 2026.