Rob Shuter, MTN’s chief executive officer, says Africa is not ready for 5G network adding that most phones in Africa worked fine on just 3G
Speaking at a telecoms conference in Durban on Tuesday, Shuter said Africa is likely to be ready for the super-fast technology in about five years from now.
5G networks, now in the final testing stage, will rely on denser arrays of small antennas and the cloud to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks.
“This is the technology that would be used for very specific cases,” he told Reuters.
“It would not be a technology for everybody because most people don’t need it, your phone works fine on just 3G.
“You also need the equipment itself. So right now there is no 5G handsets and even the routers that can receive 5G network are very few and very expensive.
“What we are doing now is to learn from the technology and get our network ready for it but I think 3G is much more relevant in most of our markets.”
Shuter, however, refused to comment on the ongoing sanction placed on his company by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to return the $8.1 billion it repatriated from the country.