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S/African firms to invest US$1.8b in 5G technologies – Minister

South Africa's telecommunication operators and vendors have pledged to invest US$1.8 billion in 5G fibre technology in the country, Communications…

South Africa’s telecommunication operators and vendors have pledged to invest US$1.8 billion in 5G fibre technology in the country, Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced in Cape Town.Tabling her ministry’s budget vote during a mini-plenary session of the National Assembly, the minister said the South African government believed that “partnerships and collaborations are key to taking our sector to greater heights.”

“I am, therefore, pleased to announce that $1.8 billion is being pledged collectively by the operators and vendors to expand the 4G network, and to deploy the 5G and fibre technologies in South Africa,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

The minister’s announcement follows the recent launch by mobile giant MTN of some 100 5G sites around the country. 

Ndabeni-Abrahams said the network expansion was also extending to rural and under-served areas of the country to benefit these communities by creating jobs for them.

“In line with government’s vision of connecting 80% of public buildings by 2024, our entities will connect 6,687 sites across the country. 

“As such, I hope that the licensing of the Wholesale Open Access Network and the High-Demand Spectrum will complement these rollout plans,” the minister said.

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