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4G/5G

Tunisia calls for tenders to provide 5G

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The Tunisian Ministry of Communication Technologies has called for tenders to award fifth-generation (5G) operating licenses.

The announcement comes as part of the country's strategy toward digitally developing its territory while upgrading its digital infrastructure and extending broadband coverage.

The ministry said in a statement that telecom operators interested in commercially deploying 5G technology in the North African country must submit their applications to the ministry between July 3, 2024, and September 2, 2024.

The tender announcement follows the country's approval of its 5G roadmap launch last month.

As part of the roadmap, Tunisian telecom operators will receive 5 MHz of Time Division Duplex (TDD) spectrum in the 700MHz band and 100 MHz (TDD) in the 3.5GHz band.

Additionally, the ministry said operators can request three blocks of 20MHz spectrum. Further 5G frequency bands will be announced in later deployment phases, and licenses will be valid for 15 years.

The ministry added that deploying 5G aligns with Tunisia's state strategy for national digital infrastructure development, aiming to expand high-speed broadband coverage nationwide.

Moreover, the government said it also aimed to accelerate administrative digitization, secure national cyberspace, ensure digital sovereignty, and foster a trusted digital environment essential for digitalization projects.

Tunisia mobile ecosystem

Statistics from market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa, show that Tunisia has three mobile telecommunications network operators that operate 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Omdia reports that Ooredoo Tunisie had almost 6.7 million mobile subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2024 and was the largest telco in the country.

Orange Tunisie had 5.2 million users, while Tunisie Télécom had 4.9 million mobile subscribers over the same period.

African 5G revolution

Tunisia's 5G plans comes at a time when many African countries are launching and rolling out the next-gen technology.

In January, Somali telecommunications operator Hormuud Telecom launched its 5G network in key locations in the East African country.

Hormuud Telecom launch followed Somtel's 5G launch, which happened weeks earlier.

Telecom operators interested in commercially deploying 5G technology in Tunisia must submit their applications to the ministry by September 2, 2024.   (Source: Image by Freepik)
Telecom operators interested in commercially deploying 5G technology in Tunisia must submit their applications to the ministry by September 2, 2024.
(Source: Image by Freepik)

In the same month, Telecom Egypt secured the first 5G license in the country from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for US$150 million.

In October 2023, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) awarded 5G licenses to three operators in the country 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.


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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 MTN and Airtel's launches in Uganda and Airtel in Zambia in August 2023.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by www.slon.pics on Freepik.

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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