By Uche Amunike
Even though no date has been disclosed yet, a total of seven cities have been pencilled to kick off operations as MTN launches 5G Trial in Nigeria.
According to a statement released to the Nigerian Exchange by the wireless operator, the seven cities are Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano and Maiduguri and records from the latest figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) show that broadband penetration in Africa’s most populated country of over 200 million people have only been able to reach less than half of the residents.
Recall that barely eight months ago, MTN
Nigeria Communications Plc and Mafab Communications Ltd clinched a bidding for the two slots available for kickstarting the spectrum services in the country and NCC’s target is to hit a coverage of at least, 70% Nigerian subscribers in 2025, in order to allow MTN to leverage on the new technology getting to the undeserved and other telcos to turn the big gap to their own advantage.
The Chief Marketing Officer of the NCC, Adiah Sohwo, has assured that as MTN launches 5G trial in Nigeria, it will be easy for her company to connect, collaborate, create and compete in so many great ways, adding that part of the advantages of the 5G network is that it has higher speed and a much reduced latency, including the ability to make downloads within seconds.
Her words: ‘Every major technological evolution redefines what is possible – changing the way we live and the way we connect’.
According to MTN Nigeria, customers with phones and devices with certain features will be able to connect with the new service where coverage is available and will be able to try it out.
As MTN launches 5G trial in Nigeria, it affords potential subscribers the permission to pre-order a home broadband device that will aid them in experiencing internet ‘downloads in seconds and not minutes’.
MTN CFO, Modupe Kadiri stated in a post: ‘2G brought us SMS and picture messaging. 3G was about mobile internet access. 4G made streaming and sharing a part of everyday life. 5G delivers the future and it’s here – higher internet speeds, downloads without delay, near-instant connection when streaming, using apps, loading websites, playing games, or connecting to smart home devices.’
‘So today we started another phase in our journey to brighten the lives of our esteemed subscribers. Yes today we turned on the 5G spectrum and kicked off our 5G pilot. 20,000 customers with enabled devices can now try out our next-generation network where coverage is available. So seeing 5G on your phone? It means you’re part of the pilot. Welcome to the wonder of 5G!’
MTN Nigeria, which is the local subsidiary of the Johannesburg based MTN Group is presently the largest revenue-generating public company which recorded a N1.7 trillion in 2021 and N950.1 billion in the first half of the year. Both Mafab Communications Ltd and MTN Nigeria Ltd already have permits to kick off 5G operations in the first week of May, so as MTN launches 5G Trial in Nigeria, the marked cities are expected to use the state-of-the-art attributes to improve both connectivity and the country’s economy.