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Orange Côte d'Ivoire launches 5G lab in Abidjan

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As Orange Côte d'Ivoire prepares for its 5G network rollout in 2023, it has opened a 5G lab devoted to digital professionals, startups and businesses.

The pan-African telecoms operator said in a statement that the collaborative space – which is fully equipped with 5G-focused applications – will be a valuable resource for local businesses in the West African country.

Orange 5G Lab in Abidjan will offer services and support to economic players along with partners such as Huawei, Nokia or ZTE.

"The 5G Lab system is built around two concepts: allowing economic players to discover new possibilities enabled by 5G and the way it could positively impact their activities, and supporting businesses keen to experiment with 5G's potential for their product or service," the Orange statement added.

"We recognize that 5G is a new opportunity for businesses eager to diversify, optimize or revitalize their activity. To support them, it is crucial that this space offers ready-to-use tools and allows the results of these experiments to be assessed in a practical fashion," said Orange Côte d'Ivoire CEO Mamadou Bamba.

The lab will host a 5G demo space for different business sectors, conferences, training, co-working sessions, co-innovation and practical 5G application sessions.

"The Orange 5G Lab will allow faster adoption of this technology by local businesses. They will not only be able to benefit from the expertise and tools available here, in Abidjan, but they will also have access to feedback from more than 1,500 businesses and local authorities that have had access to an Orange 5G Lab worldwide – including 127 that have already been able to set up testing based around their own practical examples," explained Orange Middle East and Africa CEO Jérôme Hénique.

The Lab's unveiling took place at the Deux Plateaux Smart Store Cocody, Abidjan, and was attended by the country's Communication and Digital Economy minister and government spokesperson, Amadou Coulibaly, along with Orange Group CEO Christel Heydemann, Hénique and Bamba.

5G lab boom

"Orange has already opened 15 Orange 5G Labs, including two in Africa, and it will continue to drive this initiative throughout the Group's footprint," added Heydemann.

With the growing rollout of 5G in Africa, the Ivorian 5G lab marks the second that Orange has built on the continent.

In July, Orange Group's Senegalese subsidiary, Sonatel, opened the first 5G Lab in the capital, Dakar, to test and develop fifth-generation products and services.

Want to know more about 4G and 5G in Africa? Check out our dedicated 4G/5G content channel here on Connecting Africa.

Sonatel's managing director, Sékou Dramé said the Orange 5G Lab in Dakar, will support companies in the country and provide them with a dedicated space to test and develop the applications and services of tomorrow around the 5G mobile network.

The building of this new facility in Côte d'Ivoire is good because it helps cement the company's presence in Africa. Orange operates in 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and has over 130 million customers in the region.

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*Top image source: Image by Allexxandar on Freepik.

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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