According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a branch of the United Nations, Nigeria and the other countries in Africa now have the lowest 5G coverage percentage globally, standing at a mere 6 percent as of December 2023.
The international agency on telecom and internet stated in its recent research that the ongoing significance of earlier mobile technologies, such as 2G and 3G networks, is one of the reasons for this phenomenon in Africa.
The paper highlighted that in affluent nations, the gradual elimination of 2G and 3G networks is underway. However, in numerous African countries, particularly those with lower-income economies such as Nigeria, these networks continue to play a crucial role in the telecommunications sector.
ITU reports indicate that 2G and 3G networks continue to be the prevailing technology in most African nations, including Nigeria.
This is due to the fact that these networks provide a more affordable alternative for delivering fundamental mobile services, such as voice calls and text messages, in regions where 4G and 5G networks are inaccessible.
According to Daily Trust, several towns and villages throughout all six geopolitical zones of the country lack access to 4G and 5G networks.
Consequently, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) stated that older technologies such as 2G and 3G are expected to maintain a significant presence in the African telecommunications business.
According to Daily Trust, the International Telecommunications Union has been monitoring the global spread of 5G coverage since the deployment of the first commercial 5G networks in 2019.
ITU reports that although there has been consistent advancement, the rate of increase has been inconsistent.
Low-income countries have significantly lower 5G coverage compared to high-income ones, with Europe being the frontrunner with 68 percent of its population covered by 5G networks.
The Americas and Asia-Pacific regions have coverage rates of 59% and 42% respectively. Nevertheless, Africa has the lowest coverage rate.
Despite the current unevenness of 5G coverage, its advantages are anticipated to have a global impact.
5G networks possess the ability to provide significantly accelerated download rates, reduced latency, and increased capacity compared to earlier iterations of mobile networks.