Mobile phone firm eyes 5G technology


TIGO Tanzania said yesterday while expanding the 3rd and 4th generation mobile networks coverage in the country it is also eyeing 5G technology to cement their fast speed data top position.

Tigo Tanzania Chief Technology Information Officer, Jerome Albou, said though the 5G technology was yet to be rolled out they are eyeing the service to better serve customers.

“The 5G technology is yet to be rolled out globally but we are eyeing it for benefit of our clients,” Mr Albou told journalists in Dar es Salaam. The 5G are the proposed next telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G standards, which is expected to be rolled out in 2020.

He said currently Tigo’s key strategic objective was to transform broadband customers experience by providing seamless and high performing network as per industry standard in both 3G and 4G techs.

He said in the next 12 months Tigo planned to invest 70 million US dollars (some 140bn/-), among other things, to strengthen southern highland network, which currently is not performing well compared to the northern area. With the help of fibre cable, Tigo has new 535 sites with 3G technology to reach 1,500 towers while 95 new sites with 4G has been added in the last 12 months to reach 300 sites.

“We have now 4G coverage in all major cities and towns across Tanzania,” Mr Albou said. He said Tigo has invested 75 million US dollars in the last 12 months.

The 5G planning aims at higher capacity than current 4G and 3G allowing a higher density of mobile broadband users, and supporting device-to-device, ultra reliable, and massive machine communications.

“The problem we are facing is still majority of mobile phone users do not have 3G or 4G Smartphone devices… making the 4G rollout to be in big cities and towns,” Mr Albou said.

Tigo’s Head of Planning and Engineering Mr Emmanuel Mallya said to improve their network speed they added the cache server in the core network to make frequently accessed internet.

“The Google and facebook cache serve is in Salasala and Temeke thus making services such as Google, youtube, android, facebook, whatsApp or Instagram readily available in Tanzania in a single click,” Mr Mallya said.

Also, Tigo had made a substantial investment in stabilizing its network after it commissioned 2,294 kilometres of backbone fibre which traverses through 22 district headquarters expanding the existing National ICT Backbone footprint.

For 2G network, the second leading telcos has added 260 sites mostly in rural areas to 2,700 towers thanks to UCSAF and GSMA initiative.

Based on this year’s quarter one data Tigo is the second leading telecom with over 10 million subscribers and termed to have fastest data speed network in the country.

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