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FG directs MTN, Mafab to begin 5G rollout August

Nigeria's internet users rise to 152m

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said 5G services are expected to be rolled out in the nation effective from August 24, 2022.

The commission disclosed this after it confirmed the issuance of the final letters of the award of the fifth-generation spectrum licences to MTN and Mafab Communications, who were winners of the 3.5 gigahertz spectrum auction conducted on December 13, 2021.

A statement by the NCC revealed that the management of the commission led by its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, confirmed this to the Board of Commissioners at the Board’s Special Meeting, which took place recently.

Part of the statement said, “With the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrum and in line with the 5G auction’s Information Memorandum, the two licensees are now expected to accelerate deployment of 5G network that will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution and a more digitised Nigerian economy among the comity of nations.

“In line with the terms and conditions of the 5G licence, the licensees are expected to commence rollout of 5G services, effective from August 24, 2022.

“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.”

The NCC confirmed the payment of $273.6m each from the two spectrum winners on February 24, 2022. The payment, in addition to spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, was for the 5G spectrum licence.

It added that the effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G would accelerate the actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance the nation’s digital transformation.

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