Nigeria's Telcos Uncertain About 5G Rollout

Nigeria's ICT sector and telecoms industry are in a cloud of uncertainty as far as the rollout of 5G technology is concerned, with operators not revealing their specific plans.

In July 2019, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof. Umar Danbatta met with MTN Nigeria's top executives, including the firm's CEO, Ferdinand Moolman.

At the meeting, Moolman said that MTN Nigeria had started with technical test runs of its 5G services for future installations.

Airtel also opted not to comment about its 5G plans.

The credit rating firm Fitch Ratings recently made the prediction that Airtel might limit its participation in the 5G auction because of expensive spectrum.

In February 2019, Globacom said that it would execute a conceptual rollout of 5G in the 700mhz band for Internet of Things this year, but in the meantime, the operator continues to focus on its 4G LTE product.

And just like the other competitors, it has not provided any details regarding its 5G plans.

9mobile has also remained silent.

Despite the lack of clarity, NCC remains positive about Nigeria's readiness for 5G.

A Nigerian tech industry expert, Wale Oladipupo, said that the low level of activities around Nigeria's 5G comes as no surprise considering the existing gaps in the country's 4G.


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