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AfricaCom 2023 witnessed a significant focus on the pivotal role of 5G in driving Africa’s business success during the 2023 Africa 5G Summit. Hosted by Huawei as part of the sixth Southern Africa Mobile Broadband VIP Salon, the summit convened industry leaders, government regulators, and representatives from various organizations to discuss 5G development strategies and share valuable industry experiences.
The overarching theme, “5G Lights Up Africa Together Towards Business Success,” guided discussions on topics ranging from continuous value-added network building for 5G to improving the 5G network experience, accelerating fixed wireless access (FWA) industry development, and achieving 5G business success.
Richard Liu, President of Global Carrier Marketing & Solution Sales Dept at Huawei, set the tone with a keynote speech titled, “Dream Africa’s 5G Prosperity, Build an Inclusive Digital Cornerstone.” Emphasising the need for continuous localised innovation, Liu urged collaboration across the sector to construct a digital Africa. He highlighted the transformative capabilities of 5G networks, stating, “Global operators with a firm 5G strategy have achieved business success.” To realise Africa’s 5G prosperity dream, Liu recommended building a digital Africa through inclusive ecosystems, services, and networks.
Thabisa Faye, Director and Chairman of the 5G Council Committee of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), delved into the value of spectrum in Africa. Focusing on the potential job creation in the mobile industry, she underscored the significant growth in traffic in the sub-Saharan region.
Zoltan Miklos, General Manager of Access and Architecture at MTN South Africa, presented the Ambition 2025 development strategy, identifying 5G as the key strength. Miklos emphasised the importance of creating solutions aligned with the reality of African customers and highlighted MTN South Africa’s commitment to providing an excellent user experience.
James Langat, Director of regional network implementation and operations at Safaricom, outlined Safaricom’s wireless home broadband strategy and emphasised the opportunities offered by 5G, especially in delivering 5G mobile broadband to users.
Alan Loh, Executive General Manager of Innovative Solutions at Zain Saudi Arabia, shared the company’s 5G business success, focusing on leading services, network experience, and technologies in the 5G era.
Abdul Malik Ahmed, Senior Manager of the Fixed Broadband Marketing Dept at MTN Nigeria, presented MTN Nigeria’s “Own THE HOME” wireless home broadband strategy, emphasising the role of FWA as the main driving force for home broadband growth.
Calvin Govender, EBU General Manager of MTN South Africa, discussed the transformative impact of 5G across the entire value chain, highlighting the enriched consumer experience at the 5G speed.
The summit concluded with Kenechi Okeleke, Regional, Social, and Policy Research Director of GSMA Intelligence, sharing insights on the future development trends and opportunities of 5G FWA services in Africa. The event culminated with the release of a white paper titled “5G FWA in Africa, Emerging Trends and Opportunities” by GSMA Intelligence, underlining the commitment to driving innovation and success in the African tech landscape.