Telecom Analyst, Fouad Chalabi has ruled out any possibility of Ghana signing onto a 5G license anytime soon.
5G (5th Generation) is the proposed next telecommunications standards that will provide better speeds and coverage than the current 4G.
According to Chalabi, Ghana is yet to realize the full benefits of the 4G network, hence the need to address associated with it.
““It will not come soon. If you have done investment in something, you need to pay back on the investment that you have done and do the necessary role out before introducing a new device. I don’t think the role out will be this year, or even next year” he stated.
He adds that Ghana does not have the available devices to operate a 5G system.
“Also, you need to have the devices available, so we have to find out the market preference. In Ghana now, I think the focus is on rolling out the 4G, and when the time comes the 5G will be rolled out”.
Mr. Chalabi’s comment follows MTN conducting its first “5G technology and applications trial in Africa” at its headoffice in Johannesburg, South Africa, as part of the company’s planned 5G demonstration.
Currently, MTN is the only telecom company operating a 4G license.
Other Telcos have bemoaned the relatively expensive price of the license, while calling on the National Communications Authority(NCA) to reduce the price.
Mr. Chaalabi however believes Ghana will not be ready for a 5G system any time soon.
MTN trials of 5G
MTN has launched the first 5G trial in South Africa and in the broader Africa in partnership with networking equipment vendor Ericsson.
Last November, the operator’s principal rival, Vodacom, said it would launch a 5G trial in partnership with Nokia, but hasn’t yet provided details of that effort.
MTN Group chief technology and information officer Babak Fouladi said at a press conference that its plan is to have everyone in South Africa connected to mobile broadband, including in rural areas.
He said MTN will do this by building a ubiquitous 3G network covering the entire country, while offering the latest technologies based on 4G/LTE and hopefully soon 5G in urban areas.