When will Africa see the eco benefits of 5G?

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From money transfers and instant weather updates for farmers to apps that help reduce waste, save water or find elusive parking spots — mobile internet use has exploded throughout Africa over the past decade. Mobile broadband connections there are expected to surpass 1.08 billion by 2024, according to industry data. “Generally, across the continent, mobile devices remain the primary avenue for people to access the internet in place of laptops and similar digital devices,” said Juliet Nanfuka of the group Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), which works to support development and reduce poverty through communication technologies. The rapid growth of mobile internet is expected to continue, with the World Bank aiming to achieve universal “affordable and good quality broadband access” in Africa by 2030. That would add nearly 1.1 billion new users to the continent’s network between now and the end of the decade, at a cost of roughly $109 billion (€ 92.5 billion) for 4G service or equivalent.  Smartphone users make the most of a Wi-Fi hotspot in Zimbabwe, one of the world’s most expensive places when it comes to mobile data To avoid the added burden of CO2 emissions resulting from this tremendous expansion, the information and communications technology (ICT) …

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