At the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), Nigeria’s Minister of Communications announced Nigeria’s readiness to deploy 5G technology across the country. This follows claims by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that Nigeria would begin rollout of 5G network by 2020.
In agreement with the minister’s claim, the President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOM) noted that some of the telecom operators have submitted proposals for deployment of the 5G technology but the commission has deliberately put the plans on hold in a bid to ensure adequate preparation ahead of the rollout.
Furthermore, he disclosed some of the plans that had been initiated in the background including discussions with agencies like the National Intelligence Agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Nigerian Police Force in bid to drive seamless pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment.
We note that internet penetration and usage remains at the forefront of some of Nigeria’s brightest sector prospects. A good example is the rising prominence of the Financial technology industry while the telecoms industry itself is one of the brightest sectors of an otherwise failing economy.
In our opinion, we struggle to see the readiness of Nigeria for a 5G technology roll out. Data from the NCC reveals that combined 3G/4G penetration in Nigeria stood at 33.7% (4G penetration is estimated at a meagre 4.0%) as at the end of July 2019. With billions of dollars still required in funding to ensure a decent penetration of 4G technology in Nigeria, we struggle to see a rollout of 5G technology in the near future.
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