The launch of a roadmap for 5G technology services and the stages of granting licenses and marketing the service was announced by Minister of Communication Technologies Nizar Ben Neji at the ministry's headquarters on Monday, in the presence of representatives of telecommunications network operators.

During his speech, the minister said that work had been carried out on the technical preparation for the transition from 4G to 5G in a precise and well-thought-out manner, pointing out that Tunisians will enjoy 5G internet services by the end of 2024.

This transition will improve the quality of the internet from 10 to 20 times more than 4G, which will impact positively on the performance of business enterprises and various activities that require high level of internet traffic, he added.

Ben Neji further explained that the opening and evaluation of bids will take place between July and August 2024, while the licenses will be granted in September, and the marketing of 5G for mobile communications will begin next November.

This step will allow for the setting up of advanced applications in Tunisia for remote control and working with augmented reality technologies, he further indicated.

He also said that a sectoral committee representing the National Telecommunications Authority (French: INTT) and the National Frequency Agency (French: ANF) was created last May 2023 to prepare for this eagerly awaited transition by Tunisian citizens, adding that the ministry has expanded its consultations with relevant stakeholders with experience in other advanced countries.

This transition will help Tunisia address its lag in the communication mobility and in the infrastructure fields as it provides a high Internet flow, he pointed out.

Taking the floor, INTT Representative Mohamed Tahar Missaoui, provided an overview of the data available on communications in Tunisia. There is an urgent need to shift to 5G and keep up with technological advancements in the field, he pointed out.

There are 16 million SIM cards in Tunisia, that Tunisians' data consumption increased fivefold between 2016 and 2023, from 600,000 to 1.7 million in the same period, he added.

90.8% of Tunisians use mobile phones, 65% own smartphones, 72% use fixed Internet, and 88% are active on social media.

These numbers make the transition to 5G a necessity to keep up with the developments of the digital age and the needs of the digital economy, he underlined.

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