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Amongst all the excitement of approaching 5G rollouts, the Finnish operator Elisa has grabbed the headlines by officially announcing that they are the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a 5G network. Elisa’s first 5G network services were launched in Tampere (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia). The first person to use the 5G network was Finland’s minister of Transport and Communications, Anne Berner, who made an international video call to Estonia’s minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, Kadri Simson, using Huawei 5G terminal devices. Even though there are no commercial 5G-compatible devices available to the public, Elisa is already offering two types of 5G subscriptions. A significant hurdle that must be overcome for mass 5G rollouts is the issue of licensing. The Finish Ministry of Communications is set to allocate the first 5G licences for the 3.4-3.8 GHz bands in autumn, thereby enabling Finland to maintain their…

The mobile operator, Vodafone Ukraine, intends to launch their 4G network for the 1800 MHz band on 1 July, 2018. The expansion of  the 1800 MHz band network will allow Vodafone to cover a wider territory, enabling access for millions of Ukrainians to 4G mobile Internet. This fourth generation service will be available in 50 settlements across 10 main regions of Ukraine: Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odessa, Mikolayiv, Poltava, Sumi, Kirovograd and Kherson. Besides the advantage of wider coverage, Vodafone is excited about the higher speed, improved connection stability and faster network response times for their mobile users. The other two major Ukrainian operators, LifeCell and Kyivstar, who won the 1800 MHz 4G LTE mobile license along with Vodafone at an auction held this March, will also be introducing similar services in early July.

Two of the main key players in South African mobile operators, MTN and Vodacom, have shown interest in investing in the Ethiopian company Ethio Telecom. Both companies have invested in many countries on the continent. Ethiopia was not one of them as the government wanted to keep this sector under its control. But their policy is changing and they have decided to consider opening Ethio Telecom’s capital to investors. According to MTN, “Ethiopia presents many exciting telecommunication opportunities and we look forward to further discussions with that nation’s authorities on potential partnerships and opportunities.” and Vodacam stated that it “has said on many occasions that Ethiopia is an attractive market so it follows that there would be interest. Naturally this is dependent on what might become available and if it fits within our investment parameters.” Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian new Prime Minister, came to power with promises of reforms. This policy…