ifth-Generation (5G) mobile network has gone live at 190 locations across Nigeria, with MTN becoming the first telecommunications provider in the country to launch the much anticipated mobile network in the country.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that the 190 locations that have gone live with 5G service are mainly in Lagos State, the commercial hub of Nigeria, and Abuja, the federal capital territory (FCT).
Recall that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had set the target of August for the roll out of 5G mobile network in the country after MTN and Mafab Communications won the bid for the deployment.
While Mafab had been granted a grace period of 5 months to deploy, MTN has said it’s 5G service would be live at over 500 sites across the country by October.
Already, MTN has started selling a 5G broadband router for its customers to be able to access the network as there are currently limited devices that can connect with the 5G network.
“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. 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,” Modupe Kadri, CFO, MTN Nigeria stated on LinkedIn.
TNG reports the MTN 5G network is live in select locations in Anambra, Borno, Delta, Edo, Imo, Kano, Rivers, Oyo, and Lagos States, including the FCT.
Some users have reported internet speeds of up to 1.4g per second on the 5G network, according to BusinessDay sources.
With the launch by MTN, Nigeria has joined South Africa and Kenya in the race to 5G on the African continent.
South Africa began its 5G network journey in March through MTN and Vodacom while Kenya started the deployment of 5G through Safaricom in April.
According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), around 70 countries had 5G networks as of June 2022, up from just 38 in mid-2020. It stated that approximately 15 more have had 5G mobile technology deployed in part.
TNG reports that a vital advantage of 5G is the number of use cases it will enable and the emerging technologies it will facilitate.
This rides on its ability to provide wireless broadband services at Gigabit speeds and data connections well above 10 Gigabits per second, latency below five milliseconds and the capability to exploit any available wireless resource, from Wi-Fi to 4G and to handle millions of connected devices simultaneously
5G technology will support the development of new applications which will connect devices and allow innovative applications and business models due to its software virtualization abilities.
The NCC in the National Policy document on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy had identified a number of use cases of 5G technology.
These include enhancements in application areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Drones, Advanced Communication Systems, Cloud, 3D Printing, Mixed Reality, Simulation/Imaging and Gamification.
“These application areas will impact and create new improvements in areas such as Manufacturing, Transportation, Public Services, Health and Social Works, Agriculture, Energy, Logistics, Media and Entertainment, Mining and Quarrying, Machinery and Equipment, Automotive, Education, Information and Communication, Urban Infrastructure, Consumer experience, Sports, Semiconductor Technologies, etc,” the document reads in part.
To drive the revolution, NCC is under the mandate to encourage stakeholders to provide innovative solutions and partner with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and other relevant agencies to facilitate the adoption of these technologies.
TNG reports the Commission is also under the mandate to collaborate with relevant agencies of government to support MSMEs and provide suitable enabling environments that foster innovation and creativity.
The Commission will also continue to collaborate with the academia and research institutions to fund research proposals that encourage the development of innovative solutions based on 5G.