MTN, Mafab to roll out 5G services from August 24

MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications, winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have been directed to commence the roll out of 5G services effective from August 24.

The directive was made known yesterday in a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, following the issuance of the final letters of award of the Fifth Generation (5G) Spectrum Licences by the Commission In line with the terms and conditions.

The Commission’s Management led by its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta confirmed this to the Board of Commissioners at the Board’s Special Meeting, which took place on April 20 and April 21, where members considered updates from Management on the status of the spectrum auction.

With the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrums and in line with the Auction’s Information Memorandum (IM), the two licensees are now expected to accelerate deployment of 5G network that will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a more digitised Nigerian economy.

In line with the terms and conditions of the 5G license, the licensees are expected to commence roll out 5G services effective from August 24.

The statement said: “The 5G network, when deployed, will bring a lot of benefits and opportunities that will engender accelerated growth and smart living in the country. The technology is also expected to bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.”

It added: “Subsequently, the Commission, on February 24, 2022, confirmed the full payment of $273.6 million each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, for the 5G spectrum licence.”

The Commission expressed optimism that effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G will accelerate the actualisation of the national targets.

These include those in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, and other sectoral policies designed to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.

While the licensees are expected to meet the timetable regarding their 5G network rollout obligations, the NCC requires collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G.

This, it said, will herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.

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