Ericsson Report: The road to 5G in Africa will tap into future industries

  • Modernizing technological innovation will help Africa emerge from the economic challenges to a more sustainable future
  • Africa remains the region with the highest growth rate in mobile subscriptions globally
Press release
Nov 14, 2018
5G IoT   #5G

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) have released a report titled ‘Making 5G a reality for Africa’ at AfricaCom 2018.

The paper provides a perspective on how 5G can be realized in Africa in addition to shedding light on some use cases that could drive 5G in Africa and the varying degrees of relevance in each country.  Furthermore, the paper highlights the role 5G has in transforming industries.

Africa remains the region with the highest growth rate in mobile subscriptions globally, the report said. Total mobile data traffic is forecast to grow 11x (compared to today), with 75 million cellular IoT devices being connected. Between 2017 and 2023, mobile subscriptions in the region will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%, to over 900 million subscriptions – leading to a penetration rate of 105%.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa said: “Technology has the potential to fundamentally transform societies.  It enables rapid improvements to industrial production and societal services, positively impacting the way we live and interact with our environment. Our new study highlights the dynamic role the ICT sector has in enabling growth in Africa through building 4G networks and paving the way towards 5G in the future.”

Dr. Ntsibane Ntlatlapa Manager of Telecommunications and Media Competency Area Manager at CSIR said: “Investment in technology research and innovation that address the challenges the countries are facing, will help Africa emerge from the economic challenges in a more sustainable manner. This investment in research can result in creative solutions and forward looking policies and regulations that can lead to inclusive socio-economic development and has the potential for rapid service improvements and digital readiness across societies, governments and industries.”

Key Highlights from the CSIR-Ericsson White Paper

The report is structured effectively in 6 Focus Areas:

  1. Trends and the Growth of the African Market
  2. Defining 5G and the Roadmap
  3. Spectrum
  4. Potential Economic Benefits
  5. Selected Emerging Market Use Cases
  6. Regulatory and Policy Changes

To download the full report, please visit This page

For media kits, backgrounders and high-resolution photos, please visit


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Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, commonly known as the CSIR, is a world-class organization that undertakes directed, multidisciplinary research and technological innovation that contributes to the improved quality of life of South Africans. CSIR draw expertise from diverse research fields, such as the built environment, defense and security, energy, health, industry and the natural environment to provide integrated solutions and interventions to support public and private sector programmes. CSIR scientists, engineers and technologists are enabled by CSIR state-of-the-art research infrastructure and share a passion for shaping a better future through science and technology innovation. It is this combination of excellence in research, competent staff and world-class infrastructure that puts the CSIR at the cutting edge of research and technological innovation to improve the quality of life of South Africans.