(Ecofin Agency) - 5G adoption is steadily rising in Africa. The new technology is expected to not only provide ultra-fast connection speeds but also accelerate digital transformation on the continent.
Mobile operator MTN Nigeria officially launched commercial fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology in Nigeria on Sunday, September 18. To achieve this technological leap, the company enlisted the technological support of Swedish company Ericsson. Ericsson provided the mobile operator with a 5G radio access network and a Non-Standalone (NSA) packet core.
In its first phase, the new technology was rolled out in Lagos, with plans to extend to six other cities, namely Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri. Then, the operator will extend it to the rest of the country and achieve nationwide coverage by 2025.
In its H1-2022 report, the operator informed that it has deployed 127 5G sites in preparation for the launch. Also, the commercial launch occurs three weeks after MTN launched a pilot phase in line with the Nigerian Communications Commission's (NCC) timeline. Mafab Communications, which secured its 5G spectrum at the same time as MTN, was unable to meet the timing as it is yet to secure its Unified Access Service Licence (UASL). It was allowed additional five months to finalize its preparation.
"5G will revolutionize the way we live and communicate across industries. With the speeds 5G offers, we will be able to experience the internet with low latency, which means no lag, making our virtual interactions more real. At MTN, we will continue to pursue the rollout of 5G technology to revolutionize internet access across the continent," says Mohammed Rufai, CTO of MTN Nigeria.
Isaac K. Kassouwi