MTN launches 5G trial in Nigeria, marks seven cities for a start

by Amos Kalu

MTN started a trial of its 5G technology in the country on Wednesday with seven Nigerian cities targeted to start when services are successfully launched, the wireless operator said in a statement to the Nigerian Exchange.

The pioneering feat comes more than eight months after the telecommunications firm and Mafab Communications Limited won a tender for the two slots available for the start of spectrum services in the country.

Both firms had permissions received to operate 5G services in the first week of May.

Broadband penetration in Africa’s most populous country, with more than 200 million inhabitants, has only reached less than half of the residents according to the latest figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

NCC expects coverage to reach 70 percent by 2025, giving MTN room to take advantage of new technology to reach the underserved and other telcos to exploit the expanding gap to their advantage.

“Each major technological evolution redefines what is possible, changing the way we live and the way we connect,” said Adia Sowho, director of marketing.

The move will pave the way for your company to “connect, create, collaborate and compete in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine.”

Lagos, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Abuja, Maiduguri, Kano, and Owerri will start MTN 5G services, but the date has not yet been revealed.

Higher speeds and much lower latency are part of the state-of-the-art attributes that 5G offers, including the ability to easily download in seconds.

MTN said customers with phones and devices that have certain features will be allowed to “connect and try the new service where coverage is available.”

MTN Nigeria, the local subsidiary of the Johannesburg-based MTN Group, is currently the country’s largest public company by revenue, posting a turnover of N1.7 trillion for 2021 and N950.1 billion in the first half of the year.

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