LUSAKA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's leading mobile services provider MTN rolled out its fifth-generation pilot mobile (5G) network on Tuesday, making it the first mobile service provider to do so in the southern African nation.
In partnership with the Chinese ICT giant and leading 5G vendor Huawei, MTN has officially paved way for Zambia's new mobile network era, making it a pioneer of Zambia's evolving mobile service provision.
Gracing the 5G Demonstration in Lusaka, Minister of Science and Technology Felix Mutati said the launch of 5G puts Zambia among the first 10 African countries currently piloting it.
The minister praised Huawei for the technical support towards the project, adding that Huawei's technology brings endless opportunities.
"I think what you (Huawei) are bringing to the table is creating endless possibilities and endless opportunities. What you also bring to the table is that the future is actually here. What you bring to the table is the opportunity to connect everyone and everything and for that, I say thank you very much," the minister said.
MTN Zambia CEO Bart Hofker said 5G is the evolution of technology and it enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually to everyone and everything, including machines, objects and devices.
He said 5G is creating more opportunities for people all over the world and also in Zambia.
Phil Li, Huawei's Vice President for Southern Africa Region said 5G is bringing more opportunities especially during the time of the pandemic where most people are staying home and working remotely.
"We can bring more opportunities here and cooperate more with MTN Zambia to bring the latest technology to the people of Zambia. This is not the first time we have cooperated with MTN Zambia, in 2013 we did 4G, in 2016, we did 4.5 G and now 5G," Li said.
In 2013, the MTN partnered with Huawei to build the first-ever 4G and GSMR network and later built the first 4.5G network in 2016.
With Zambia now having a stand-alone Ministry of Science and Technology, whose agenda is to accelerate digital transformation for both economic and social growth, there is an indication that Zambia's telecommunication sector will experience massive growth. ■