MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscriptions, has announced that it has kicked off an open 5G pilot for customers with compatible devices where coverage is available. The move will enable the South African company to test the technology ahead of a commercial launch of 5G in the seven cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibandan, Kano, Owerri and Maidugari. MTN and newcomer Mafab Communications each bid USD273.6 million for 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum in the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) auction held in December last year. Following the conclusion of the assignment stage, MTN selected spectrum in the 3500MHz-3600MHz band for an additional USD15.9 million and was officially handed its licence after meeting the payment deadline earlier this year.
‘Every major technological evolution redefines what is possible – changing how we live and connect. MTN Nigeria has been at the forefront of every leap in telecommunications: from GSM to 2G, 3G, and 4G. 5G has the potential to change everything. It will allow us to connect, create, collaborate, and compete in ways we’ve not even begun to imagine,’ commented MTN Nigeria’s Chief Marketing Officer Adia Sowho, adding: ‘We appreciate the unwavering support and leadership of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission in implementing the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy, which has driven the implementation of 5G in the country. We’re honoured to be a part of this revolution and being the first to bring 5G to Nigeria we are truly excited about all the possibilities for the nation.’