The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited are expected to commence the rollout of 5G services from August 24, 2022.
The commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, disclosed this in a statement, on Wednesday.
In December 2021, after 11 rounds of bidding that lasted for eight hours, Mafab and MTN Nigeria emerged as the successful winners of the 3.5gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.
The commission confirmed that the two companies fully paid $273.6 million each for the 5G spectrum licence.
Adinde said the NCC has issued final letters of licence awards to the two 5G spectrum winners.
He said Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, confirmed the development to the board of commissioners at the board’s special meeting, which took place on Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21, 2022, where the board considered updates from management on the status of the spectrum auction.
“With the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrum and in line with the Auction’s Information Memorandum (AIM), 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,” the statement reads.
“In line with the ters and conditions of the 5G license, the licensees are expected to commence roll out 5G services effective from August 24, 2022,” the statement noted.
It said the 5G network, when deployed, would 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.
According to the statement, the commission is optimistic that effective implementation of the national policy on 5G will accelerate the actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, as well as 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 emphasised that collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G, will herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.