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Hormuud Telecom launches 5G in Somalia

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Somali telecommunications operator Hormuud Telecom has launched its fifth-generation (5G) network in key locations in the East African country.

The telco said its 4G customers will receive upgrades to the next generation technology at no extra cost.

"The network will initially be accessible in Mogadishu, Kismayo, Galkayo and Baidoa, as well as Dhusamareeb, Beledwayne, Afgoye, Merca and Dhobley, offering 81% coverage," the telco said in a statement.

Furthermore, the company highlighted how reliability as well as the faster speed of the technology will be a significant tool for subscribers who do not have a traditional bank account and who rely on mobile money services for business and leisure.

Hormuud Telecom said that 5G will enable it to support the deployment of IoT products that will upgrade its disaster management systems using real-time sensors.

"As Somalia strides towards stability, the launch of 5G services by Hormuud Telecom emerges as a critical milestone. This initiative is more than just a technological advancement, it's a symbol of our nation's commitment to growth and constant improvement," said Somalia's Telecommunications Minister Jama Hassan Khalif.

Hormuud Telecom CEO Ahmed Yusuf said the company aims to ensure that the benefits of 5G become accessible to all.

Somali's mobile mixture

Hormuud Telecom's 5G launch follows Somtel's 5G launch earlier this year.

According to statistics from market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa, Somalia has nine mobile operators.

Hormuud Telecom said its 4G customers will receive upgrades to 5G technology at no extra cost.   (Source: Image by on Freepik)
Hormuud Telecom said its 4G customers will receive upgrades to 5G technology at no extra cost.
(Source: Image by on Freepik)

At the end of third quarter of 2023, Omdia ranked Hormuud Telecom as the country's biggest operator, with over 39% market share. However, Omdia has recorded a huge drop in the company's estimated market share, to just 12%, at the end of 2023.

Nationlink Somalia had 24% market share at the end of 2023, followed by Telcom with almost 20% market share.

Telsom Mobile had close to 15% market share over the same period and Somtel, which has launched 5G, had 11%. The remaining four operators each have market shares of between 8% and under 1%.

African 5G evolution

The country's 5G progression follows several other African countries that have launched and rolled out 5G services.

5G rollouts are becoming a regular event in Africa. In January 2024, Telecom Egypt secured the first 5G license in the country from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for US$150 million, placing it in a good position to launch the technology.

In October 2023, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) awarded 5G licenses to three operators and Orange announced that it was testing 5G in Sierra Leone.

Orange has announced its plans to launch 5G services in most of its African operations by the end of 2024.

In September 2023, Ethiopian state-owned telecom operator Ethio Telecom launched its commercial 5G services.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

The Ethio Telecom launch came on the back of Emtel becoming the second telco to launch 5G services in the island nation of Mauritius in August 2023.

That launch followed launches by MTN and Airtel in Uganda and Airtel in Zambia in August 2023.

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*Top image is of Hormuud Telecom CEO Ahmed Yusuf (Source: Hormuud Telecom)

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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