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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

Sierra Leone: Orange successfully tests 5G

Telecom operators are increasingly investing in fifth-generation Internet. In Sierra Leone, French telecom giant Orange is entering this segment, adding to the list of countries where it has already launched 5G. 

Last week, Orange Sierra Leone announced the launch of the pilot phase of fifth-generation mobile Internet, to offer subscribers higher connection speeds, improved connectivity, and low latency. This pilot phase will take place solely in the business district of Freetown, the country’s capital.

“This launch is indeed an important milestone for Sierra Leone. I am delighted that Orange Sierra Leone is taking the lead in setting the baseline technology standard for 5G by deploying this state-of-the-art pilot phase on our network, in line with the company’s vision to become a leading mobile Internet service provider in Sierra Leone,” said Sekou Drame, Chairman and CEO of Sonatel, the parent company of Orange Sierra Leone.

During an audience with Sonatel’s delegation, Julius Maada Bio (photo, center), President of Sierra Leone, praised the initiative. The Internet is a key point in Sierra Leonne’s 2019-2029 National Innovation and Digitalization Strategy. In that context, the 5G test is in line with authorities’ ambition to boost access to the Internet.

Let’s note that Orange is multiplying its investments in 5G technology on the continent. Among other countries, the telecom company has carried out 5G commercial tests in  Botswana, Tunisia, DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. Last week, it inaugurated a 5G lab in Madagascar, to enable local tech players to discover this technology, demonstrate use cases, and test its impacts on their products and services.

Orange Sierra Leone’s 5G trial service will be available only in the central business district of the capital Freetown at first. The operator will test some use cases for 5G expansion to increase the speed of fixed wireless access and mobile broadband.

Orange is the first Sierra Leonean operator to test 5G. Once deployed, 5G is expected to enable Orange Sierra Leone to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity and strengthen its position in the local telecoms market. Ultra-broadband is also expected to accelerate the Sierra Leonean government’s digital transformation ambitions

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