MTN believes that it is prepared for the launch of 5G, and Mafab plans for January 2023.
Through Adeyemi Adepetun
August 22, 2022, at 3:56
Superfast 5G networks [FILES]. According to Bloomberg
• Mafab receives UASL from NCC as MTN launches the demo
As a leader in regional deployment, this nation will join South Africa and Kenya. However, access to affordable devices will be a major barrier.
Mafab Communications has received a five-month extension for the service rollout in Nigeria, despite the fact that MTN has stated its preparedness to launch the Fifth-Generation (5G) network this month, or at the very least this quarter.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) granted MTN and Mafab Communications the August 24 (Wednesday) roll-out date after both companies won the 3.5GHz spectrum licence in December and paid the Federal Government $550 million as early as February.
A source at MTN told The Guardian over the weekend that the company is prepared and might launch a demo on or after August 24.
The insider said that more equipment is currently arriving and will be transported to the various locations since “full commercial launch should be before the end of the year.”
Recall that the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria was won by Mafab and MTN Nigeria in December 2021 after 11 rounds of bidding that lasted eight hours. The Commission further announced that in February 2022, the two businesses each paid the full $273.6 million licence fee for the 5G spectrum.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated to The Guardian that Mafab had requested an extension of time to roll out services after receiving the Universal Access Service License (UASL) two weeks prior. More assurances from Mafab and MTN
Mafab sent a statement over the weekend confirming this development and announcing that NCC had given it a five-month delay for service implementation.
According to the terms of the 5G licence, the licensees were anticipated to start rolling out 5G services starting on August 24, 2022, according to the announcement.
“However, due to delays in acquiring its UASL and Numbering plan, which wasn’t done until the end of July, Mafab has been given a five-month extension.
“We are totally committed to bringing the advantages of 5G services to Nigerians and building a network that will boost internet availability nationally and promote economic growth. I am confident that the service would contribute to advancements in the business, smart cities, education, and entertainment sectors, said Dr. Mushabu Bashir, chairman of Mafab Communications Limited.
He stated that “we will be providing additional information in the near future” and that the objective was still to debut before the five-month extended term. Higher data speeds, better availability, and enhanced dependability will all be provided to Nigerians via 5G.
The service will help Nigerians use broadband more effectively and will boost the country’s broadband penetration, service quality, and capabilities.
Meanwhile, Nigeria would join South Africa and Kenya as nations that have formally launched the 5G network on the continent if the August launch goes forward.
Kenya started the rollout of its 5G network through Safaricom in April, whilst South Africa launched its 5G network through MTN and Vodacom in March.
According to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), there will be 5G networks in about 70 countries by the end of 2022, up from 38 at the beginning of the year. It said that the 5G mobile technology had been partially implemented in about 15 more.
According to the GSA, 5G will have one billion users this year after only 3.5 years in usage, compared to 4G’s four years and 3G’s twelve years.