The Nigeria subsidiary of South African telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has announced its plans to kicked off an open 5G pilot in preparation for the commercial launch in 7 states of Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Owerri, Kano and Maiduguri.
MTN said through its ongoing testing of the 5G infrastructure, its customers with certain enabled devices will be allowed to connect with and try out the new service where coverage is available.
The advanced technology is expected to extend the reach and capacity of MTN Nigeria’s data network in Nigeria and enable much faster speeds and lower latency, giving customers near-instant access to the things they care about and downloads that take seconds, instead of minutes.
Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adia Sowho, in a statement issued on Wednesday said: “Every major technological evolution redefines what is possible – changing how we live and connect. MTN Nigeria has been at the forefront of every leap in telecommunications: from GSM to 2G, 3G, and 4G. 5G has the potential to change everything. It will allow us to connect, create, collaborate, and compete in ways we’ve not even begun to imagine.”
“We appreciate the unwavering support and leadership of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission in implementing the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy, which has driven the implementation of 5G in the country. We’re honoured to be a part of this revolution and being the first to bring 5G to Nigeria we are truly excited about all the possibilities for the nation,” she added.
The spectrum issued to MTN Nigeria as one of the two successful winners of the 5G license bid holds a promising future for technology in Nigeria, and is projected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034, according to a 2020 GSMA Intelligence report -“The Mobile Economy”.
The implementation of 5G will accelerate the actualization of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.
While MTN is still targeting Q3 to launch in line with the conditions of the licence, the second operator with 5G licence in Nigeria, Mafab Communications, has been given a 5-month extension for its rollout by the Nigerian Communications Commission.