Nigeria To Join Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa in 5G Rollout


MTN Nigeria in collaboration with Mafab Communications will oversee the 5G rollout in Nigeria.

This exercise will kick off in August 2022 according to the announcement made by the Nigeria Communication Commission.

NCC made this announcement when issuing licence letters to these two companies which won the 5G Spectrum Licences auction.   

Spectrum allocation

Mafab communication and MTN Nigeria emerged as winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction in Nigeria after Airtel withdrew its bid.

MTN has been allocated the first lot in the 3500MHz-3600MHz being the preferred bid winner. The second bid winner was allocated 100MHz in the 3700MHz-3800MHz band. The companies paid a total of US$273.6 million each for 100MHz of the spectrum.

The telcos are required by the regulator to begin the rollout by August 24, 2022.

Nigeria will be joining Kenya, South Africa Madagascar and others who have already launched 5G services in Africa.

The authority says, “The NCC requires collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G, which will herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.”

5G services have since been launched in Kenya, South Africa, and other select African states. While the service is on trial, telcos are fast-tracking commercial launches, including in Kenya where Safaricom is planning to roll out the service before the year ends. Ethiopia has since launched 5G pilot tests in Addis Ababa with state-owned Ethio Telecoms.

MTN expansion in Rwanda

MTN has also increased its market share in Rwanda and now services 64.6% of mobile users in the country.

Rwanda’s MTN CEO recorded a solid first-quarter performance with mobile subscribers growing 5% year-on-year (YoY) to 6.5 million by the end of March 2022.

More subscribers are also using MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) and data services in the small East African nation.

Active data users increased by 26.3% YoY to 2.2 million and MoMo users increased by 12.1% to 3.8 million.