MTN Nigeria on Sunday rolled out 5G technology in Lagos with a promise to launch the network in six other cities including Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri. With this, Nigeria has become the 3rd African country to deploy the technology after South Africa and Kenya.
The Lagos 5G commercial launch came on the heels of its 5G pilot launch three weeks ago, as mandated by the telecoms industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
MTN in its half-year 2022 report, revealed that it had deployed 127 5G sites in preparation for its 5G launch. The technology is expected to be rolled out in phases, with full national coverage expected by 2025.
The advanced 5G technology promises to extend the reach and capacity of MTN Nigeria’s data network and enable much faster speeds and lower latency, giving customers near-instant access to the things they care about and downloads that take seconds, instead of minutes.
While speaking at the launch, chief executive officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, said: “Every major technological evolution changes the way we live, the way we connect; changes what is possible. GSM took phone calls on the road, 2G added texting to our experience (and created a whole new language), 3G brought the internet to our phones, and 4G made video widely available on mobiles.
“5G will change everything. It will allow us to connect, create, collaborate, and compete in ways we cannot imagine yet. Today we will show you a glimpse of the many possibilities 5G has in store. What is most important is what you and every Nigerian can create with it.”
The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, noted, “Today, we are celebrating the outcome of the successful auction of the 5G spectrum, we are celebrating the commercial launch of 5G services in the country. This puts the country on the global 5G space and from today many of you will experience the super speed associated with 5G.”
What you should know
Two telecommunications companies, MTN and Mafab Communications won the 3.5GHz 5G spectrum licence at an auction conducted in December 2021, by the NCC.
The spectrum issued to MTN Nigeria as one of the two successful winners of the 5G license bid holds a promising future for technology in Nigeria and is projected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034, according to a recent GSMA Intelligence report.
While part of the conditions of the licence requires the operators to roll out the service in August this year, MTN commenced pilot testing.
Mafab, on the other hand, has been given a 5-month extension to meet the rollout obligation by the NCC.
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