Angola’s mobile market leader Unitel is waiting for the telecoms regulator – Angolan Institute of Communications (Instituto Angolano das Comunicacoes, INACOM) – to allocate 5G frequencies and issue permission for fifth-generation network operations to launch, according to company director-general Miguel Geraldes, quoted by newspaper Valor Economico. Geraldes said that Unitel was in consultations with INACOM regarding 5G development, but stressed that it could not yet commit any investments to a rollout until there was clarity on 5G licensing. The executive noted that initial 5G deployment will be focused on urban/industrial centres, targeting Luanda, Cabinda, Benguela and Huila as priority provinces.
Angola’s telecoms minister Manuel Homem gave an interview last week (published on INACOM’s site) saying that the regulatory body is in the process of refarming 5G-suitable frequencies, involving ‘removing’ existing entities occupying the range, so that ‘as soon as conditions exist in the country, we will be able to deliver that frequency to operators,’ although he also appeared to indicate that certain 5G spectrum could be issued to cellcos, stating: ‘INACOM has already prepared this frequency range to make it available to operators, that is, we are prepared for any of our operators who want to start the 5G operation.’ The Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication (MINTTICS) recently signed a partnership agreement with the International University of Cuanza (UNIC) to establish a ‘5G technology observatory’ to contribute to 5G development in Angola.
As reported by CommsUpdate, last month Unitel and Ericsson signed a three-year frame agreement for the supply of Ericsson Radio System solutions as well as core solutions and related services, with the aim of transforming Unitel’s existing 2G/3G/4G RAN and core infrastructure as well as preparing for future 5G services in Angola. The agreement scope covers Ericsson 5G RAN products and solutions, to be introduced and deployed by Unitel as soon as 5G services are licensed in Angola.