Spectrum of Possibility

Telecoms: Africa needs 5G regulation overhaul, Nokia says

By David Whitehouse

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on April 7, 2021 02:07

 © REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

African regulators need to upgrade their rulebooks to accelerate the adoption of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, says Alpin Verlet, Nokia’s CEO for West and Central Africa.

“Regulators and policy-makers need to acknowledge that the mobile industry and 5G are major catalysts in speeding up the digitalisation of multiple industries,” Verlet says.

Nokia was chosen by Togocom in November 2020 to deploy West Africa’s first 5G network. Accelerating spectrum identification and allocation to mobile broadband is critical, Verlet argues. “More spectrum will need to be available for the mobile industry and more specifically for 5G. Regional and global spectrum harmonisation efforts are crucial.”

  • There is a need for certainty over spectrum roadmaps and regulatory rules on issues such as license renewal, taxation and coverage obligations, Verlet says.
  • 5G can help West Africa “leapfrog to Industry 4.0” and will enable uses such as remote medicine and education.
  • Verlet expects industrial applications in industries such as mining, where 5G can support remote control

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime