MTN launches 5G in Nigeria
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MTN launches 5G in Nigeria

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc launched an open Fifth-Generation (5G) pilot this week in preparation for its highly anticipated commercial launch. Nigeria has now joined South Africa and Kenya in the 5G race.

MTN Nigeria is currently testing the next-generation network infrastructure to launch 5G services in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri. Customers with specific enabled devices will be able to connect to and use the new service in areas where coverage is available.

After receiving a $273.6 million license fee from both companies in February, Nigeria’s telecommunications industry regulator, the National Communications Commission (NCC), set August 24 as the deadline to begin rolling out the network across the country.

MTN had been conducting 5G network trials as early as 2019 before obtaining the license. The telecoms operator successfully ran spectrum tests in its offices across the country with the help of Huawei, ZTE, and Ericsson.

MTN’s rollout does not guarantee that all MTN customers will immediately access the 5G network. Mobile phone users can only connect to the network if their phone manufacturers release the necessary update. For example, it is expected that Samsung users can access the service within a month, whereas iPhone users may have to wait until October to receive the update.

According to a 2020 GSMA Intelligence report titled “The Mobile Economy,” the spectrum awarded to MTN Nigeria as one of the two successful winners of the 5G license bid holds a promising future for technology in Nigeria. It is projected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034.

The rollout of 5G will hasten the achievement of national targets outlined in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, and other sector policies aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s digital transformation.

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