Youth Urged to Embrace 5G Network Upgrade for Meaningful Engagements

Young people have been urged to use the improved internet technology in the country for productive activities.

Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission- UCC says that the youth need to utilize the improved technology to empower themselves socially and economically other than spending time on social media platforms that come with no value.

Sewankambo was speaking at the UCC Headquarters in Bugolobi during a demonstration of the 5-Generation (5G) network that was recently inaugurated by Telecom giant MTN Uganda. 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, a successor to the existing 4G networks that currently provide connectivity to most cell phones in Uganda.

MTN Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Mulinge said that the rollout of MTN’s 5G internet spectrum commenced in the Bugolobi and Lugogo areas of Kampala. She explained that Lugogo and Bugolobi were selected as starting points due to the high concentration of devices supporting 5G internet speed in the areas.

Mulinge also noted that Apple’s iPhone, Techno, and Huawei phone developers have already approved the 5G internet, allowing users of these brands to access the service. However, Samsung users will have to wait for at least two more weeks before they can enjoy the upgraded connectivity.

“We normally work with different vendors, I spoke about iPhone which is unlocked for Ugandans for about three to four days, Samsung has sent engineers into the country, and they have committed to finishing this in two weeks. Techno and Huawei have already come on board,” she said.

Chris Baryomunsi, the Minister of Information, ICT and National Guidance who presided over the demonstration event said that the government is working under the clock to ease inclusiveness by bringing down the costs of smartphones to as low as 40, 000 Shillings.

Baryomunsi is optimistic that harmonizing taxes imposed on mobile devices will give a chance to all people, and it will eventually bring down the price of the internet.

Baryomunsi further cautioned MTN Uganda not to relax after introducing the 5G internet noting that while it is a good upgrade, it is yet to compete on the international scene. He said this while relating to the workshop he attended in Barcelona, Spain where he was introduced to 6G internet.

Regarding the transition from fibre internet, which has long been dominant, to wireless technology, Baryomunsi clarified that the shift does not render fibre internet obsolete. Instead, it serves areas, such as those with water bodies, where deploying fibre internet proves challenging.

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