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Airtel Africa just spent $42 million in 4G expansion efforts

In a corporate disclosure seen by Business Insider Africa, the telecom company explained that the newly purchased 58 MHz additional spectrum is spread across 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz bands. The licence will not be up for renewal until 2032.

In the meantime, other licences already held by the in the DRC will remain effective till 2036.

Do note that of all the 14 African countries where the telco currently operates, the DRC is the largest by coverage area. The country is also Airtel’s second largest market by population. Little wonder the company is bullish with this investment.

However, it is rather interesting to note that Airtel, which is a major African telecom operator, is just now trying to expand 4G coverage in one of its biggest markets; at a time when the rest of the world is already prospecting 6G network.

During the recently concluded World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark declared that 6G mobile network is expected to become commercially operational by 2030. His projection came on the backdrop of rising 5G adoption rate across the world, with countries in Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East leading.

In Africa, however, only about 6 countries have so far launched 5G network, according to checks by Business Insider Africa. And even at this abysmal rate, most of the launches are not commercial in scope. Major telcos like Airtel, MTN, Ethio Telecom and Safaricom, etc, have been slow in rolling out the service due to a number of unique challenges. Business Insider

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