On 1st September 2022, mobile operator Vodacom Tanzania launched the first 5G network in the country.
5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones.
In addition to 5G being faster than existing networks, it has higher bandwidth and can thus connect more different devices, improving the quality of Internet services in crowded areas with a wide variety of potential use cases.
5G technology promises increased data transfer speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G and has the potential to rise even further. 5G supports technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, blockchain technology, robotics, and cloud computing which have applications in many sectors and will bring major changes and developments. Areas that will be impacted positively include manufacturing, energy production, agriculture, healthcare delivery, education, transport and works, and tourism.
Vodacom Tanzania plans to deploy 5G to over 200 sites in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Dodoma, Mwanza, Iringa, Kagera, Njombe, and Mbeya.
Speaking at the launch event, Hilda Bujiku, Acting Managing Director, commented: “We are excited to unveil the latest generation of mobile and internet technology that has brought digital transformation to the world and today it is available here in Tanzania through the Vodacom network. This marks a very important milestone for us as a nation towards technological advancement because, with 5G, the possibilities are endless in terms of speed, connections, and interactive technology. The 5G network will be available to both our retail and enterprise customers empowering them to start exploring new opportunities that 5G provides.”
He also stressed that the mobile operator intends to reach 90% of Tanzanians with 3G and 4G by 2024.
For his part, Hon. Nape Nnauye, Minister for Communication and Information Technology, said: “I congratulate Vodacom for paving the way for digital transformation in Tanzania, and the government fully supports this breakthrough through its various sector ministries because we know technology has the power to transform lives and help the country achieve sustainable development goals (SDG) targets in areas such as health, agriculture, energy, logistics and many more. I call on entrepreneurs, businesses, innovators, and ministries to tap into this 5G network and transform this nation. The government pledges its support to you.”