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Frank tumwebaze

Uganda considers turning off 2G internet

In a forward looking move aimed at improving the quality of internet connectivity around the country, the government is considering turning off 2G network, Frank Tumwebaze, the minister for ICT & National Guidance said recently. Tumwebaze said, government is going to require that all urban areas around the country will be served by at least 4G connectivity, while rural areas will have at least 3G.

If this comes to pass, it will be a phenomenal boost to the quality of internet in the country as anywhere around the country will have fairly good connectivity to conduct business.

The minister made the revelation while opening the 2019 joint Annual ICT and National Guidance sector review- an annual event that brings together actors in the sector to appraise progress on plans made on the sector. The event attracts the Government sector ministry, departments and agencies as well as private sector players and non-governmental (non-profit) actors.

In a report released early this year, Strategy&, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) entity, said that the world is in the verge of welcoming 5G which will usher in the 4th industrial Revolution with such internet driven functionalities like the Internet of Things, robotics, among others.

2G internet is by telecom technology standards an old technology with limited speeds and functionality. The 2-G officially launched in the early 1990s and only replaced by 3G in the early 200os, brought with it  digital mobile telephony (a phenomenal move away from the analogue telephones), enabling for the first time use of SMS and other data based applications. It succeed the analogue 1-G (1970-1980) technology.

The 3-G technology came in the early 2000 and reigned through 2010 and with it the blast of smart phones; internet connectivity, mobile broadband and wireless telephony came. The 4-G technology came about 2010. Still the predominant technology, with 4G, we have witnessed fast, massive data transfers and phenomena like high definition TV (3D TV), broadband internet and video conferencing.

China recently became the first country in the world to launch 5G technology on a mass scale. It is expected that the 5G technology will proliferate around the world in the next two to five years.

The 2019 ICT Annual Sector Review was conducted under an equally forward looking theme, “Strategize and tap into the 4th Industrial Revolution for sustainable national development.” The Infrastructure Magazine March-April 2019 edition extensively covered the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), while The Infrastructure Magazine August-September 2019 edition, covered the 5G technology.

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