CNN’s Marketplace Africa explores Ericsson’s plans for 5G

Telecommunication company Ericsson has made successful inroads in Africa, particularly in Kenya with the continent being a key market for the company due to its innovation boom.

 “The first deal we have made in Africa came in 1896, 120 years ago, when we installed the fixed exchange in Kenya. We started the first rollout of 2G in South Africa in 1994, we had built 2G, 3G, 4G, we are across the whole continent. We take Africa very seriously because we all feel that big things are going to happen here on the continent,” Nicolas Blixell, Head of the Global Customer Unit MTN for Ericsson Middle East and Africa told CNN Marketplace Africa’s Eleni Giokos.

Having projected exponential growth in mobile subscriptions across Africa in the coming years, Ericsson sees a ripe opportunity in the African technological market. Blixell details some of the key figures, “We are only 7% of 4G subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa, meaning 93% does not have 4G. So it’s going to pick up now at a rate of 34%, to up to 30% in 2024, with the data growing at 46% per year. So it’s exploding here.”

While greater 4G coverage is the main priority, Ericsson is also looking to the future and the implementation of 5G networks. Blixell told Giokos, “We have our eyes on 5G. This is a very important technology, is a completely different game.”

5G will open up a whole network of possibilities – connecting the world in innovative, pioneering ways. Blixell discusses some of the ways that 5G could be utilised, “Everything that can be connected, will be connected: car tracks, smart meters and so forth. This will be governed by a 5G network because a 4G cannot take it all.”

Ericsson has a long and distinguished history and Blixell believes that their technological innovation will continue far into the future, “We have been around for about 140 years, and are going to continue for another 140 years.”