MTN Pilots 5G in Nigeria

MTN Nigeria, in collaboration with partners Huawei, ZTE and Ericsson, has showcased its 5G network in Nigeria at an event in Abuja and confirmed plans to do the same in Lagos and Calabar.

According to the operator, individual suppliers will demo its technology in each of the selected locations for pilot. Huawei was selected for Abuja, ZTE will showcase the technology in Calabar, while Ericsson has been selected for Lagos.

Mohammed Rufai, chief technical officer at MTN Nigeria said with 5G, the company can test a number of possible offerings. “5G offers tremendous benefits in terms of speed, latency (less delay), efficiency and security. This pilot offers a unique opportunity for us to explore use-cases and applications in Nigeria, and we are excited about its potential for our country and our company.”

The pilots are being carried out in partnership with Nigerian government’s communications technology and digital economy ministry, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Speaking at the Abuja 5G demo ceremony, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, described 5G as a technology that has a potential for sustainable growth.

“I believe as long as we are able to handle the potential challenges, the deployment of 5G is very critical to our economy because of so many advantages of 5G, the issue of latency, speed and many more.”

Mazen Mroue, chief operating officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “In collaboration with our technical partners and the support of the federal government (of Nigeria), we are proudly putting Nigeria on the 5G technology map.”

MTN Nigeria chief executive officer Ferdi Moolman confirmed that telco received trial spectrum from the NCC.

“Pushing boundaries is easier when your aspirations are supported by like-minded people. We are here today because of the support and guidance of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission who provided the trial spectrum used for this. Today’s success underlines the fact that we are good together.”

In September 2019, NCC executive vice chairman Prof Umar Danbatta said three spectrums will be licensed as soon as the standardisation process is completed at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference hosted recently in Egypt.