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2G, 3G still dominant in Nigeria, other African countries – ITU

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), of the United Nations, says Nigeria and the rest of Africa have the lowest 5G coverage rate in the world…

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), of the United Nations, says Nigeria and the rest of Africa have the lowest 5G coverage rate in the world at only 6 per cent as of December 2023. 

This is in part due to the continued importance of older mobile technologies in Africa, such as 2G and 3G networks, the international agency on telecom and internet said in its  latest report. 

The report indicated that while 2G and 3G networks are being phased out in developed countries, they remain a key part of the telecommunications landscape in many African countries, especially those with lower-income economies like Nigeria. 

According to the ITU, 2G and 3G networks are still the predominant technologies in use in many African countries including Nigeria. 

This is because these networks offer a lower-cost option for providing basic mobile services, such as voice calls and text messages, in areas where 4G and 5G networks are not available.

Daily Trust reports that there are still hundreds of towns and villages in all the country’s six geopolitical zones workout 4G and 5G networks.

As a result, ITU said, older technologies (2G and 3G) are likely to continue to play an important role in the African telecom industry. 

Daily Trust gathered that since the first commercial 5G networks were deployed in 2019, the International Telecommunications Union has tracked the expansion of 5G coverage worldwide.

While there has been steady progress, the growth has been uneven, according to ITU.

High-income countries have far higher 5G coverage than low-income countries, with Europe leading the pack at 68 per cent of the population covered by 5G networks. 

The Americas and Asia-Pacific follow with 59 per cent and 42 per cent coverage respectively. However, Africa lags behind with the lowest coverage.

Although 5G coverage is still quite uneven, its benefits are expected to be felt worldwide. 

5G networks are capable of delivering much faster download speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity than previous generations of mobile networks.

 

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