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Emtel launches 5G in Mauritius

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Telecoms operator Emtel has become the second telco to launch 5G services in the island nation of Mauritius.

The company claimed that its 5G network already covers 60% of the Mauritian population and plans to have full coverage all over the country by 2024.

"With the widest 5G network in Mauritius — and most probably the widest 5G network in Africa considering the population and the area that we cover — we are proud to be the first company to launch 5G across such a significant portion of the island," Emtel CEO Kresh Goomany said at a press event about the launch.

The Mauritian fixed voice, broadband and mobile operator said users can expect speeds of up to 1.87 Gbit/s on the fifth generation mobile network as well ultra-low latency, significantly impacting the mobile data browsing experience of customers.

Last week, Emtel also announced its new 5G broadband fixed wireless access (FWA) service, called "Airbox 5G", covering 40% of the population.

The 5G FWA coverage will initially be focused on the capital Port-Louis as well as northern, western and central areas of the country but the operator has plans to extend availability nationwide over the next two to three years under a phased deployment.

Emtel follows My.t mobile into 5G

Emtel is not the first operator to launch 5G on the island, My.t mobile — the mobile unit of Mauritius Telecom — was two years ahead of it, rolling out its 5G network in mid-2021.

The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) of Mauritius granted 5G licenses to the country's three telecom operators — My.t mobile, Emtel, and CHiLi Mauritius (the mobile unit of Mahanagar Telephone Mauritius Limited or MTML) — in July 2021 to enable the deployment of commercial services.

Emtel said its 5G network already covers 60% of the Mauritian population and plans to reach all corners of the island by 2024.   (Source: Image by svetlanasokolova on Freepik).
Emtel said its 5G network already covers 60% of the Mauritian population and plans to reach all corners of the island by 2024.
(Source: Image by svetlanasokolova on Freepik).

Omdia statistics show that only about 5% of My.t mobile's customer base was using 5G at the end of June 2023. Meanwhile about 54% of its users were still on 2G services, 21% used 3G and almost 20% were on 4G.

In comparison, Emtel's customers were a more even split when it came to technology share with almost 34% using 4G, 35% using 3G and 31% still on 2G.

Omdia estimates that Mauritius' 5G users made up just 2% of the total mobile customers at the end of 2022, but forecasts that 5G customers will grow to 25% of total users by 2028.

My.t is the biggest mobile operator in the country with around 61% market share, followed by Emtel with almost 22% of the market and CHiLi Mauritius had 17% market share at the end of June 2023.

5G growth in Africa

5G rollouts are becoming commonplace in Africa with recent launches by MTN and Airtel in Uganda and Airtel in Zambia over the past week.

QCell launched The Gambia's first commercial 5G service in June 2023 and Vodacom launched 5G in Mozambique in May 2023.

Airtel had yet another 5G launch in July 2023, this time in Kenya, following rival Safaricom's 5G rollout in October 2022.

Nigeria saw 5G launched by MTN in August 2022 across seven cities. Nigeria's Mafab Communications followed with a 5G launch in capital city of Abuja in January 2023.

Connecting Africa's research shows that about 14 African countries have now launched commercial 5G services, with more expected in the coming months.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by Freepik.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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