The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has finalised the issue of 5G spectrum licences to Mafab Communications and the local unit of MTN.
The operators each obtained 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum in a round of bidding held in December 2021, outbidding Airtel Nigeria. The NCC confirmed in February 2022 that it had received the full amount (US$273.6 million) from each operator, along with the additional spectrum assignment fee that MTN Nigeria was obliged to pay.
In a statement, the NCC expressed its belief that the advent of 5G in Nigeria will bring about a more digitised economy in the market, delivering benefits such as “accelerated growth and smart living.” The technology is also expected to significantly boost network speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.
As per the terms of their concessions, the operators are expected to begin offering 5G services from 24th August 2022. The NCC noted that the deployments will require the “collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G.”
While MTN Nigeria is the country’s largest commercial mobile operator, Mafab Communications is an interconnection and wholesale provider, and has not yet disclosed whether it plans to begin offering commercial services using its 5G network.