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MTN dedicates over $120M for 5G coverage

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By Mercy Kelani

5G coverage of the population increased from 3% in 2022 to 11% in 2023.

Over the past two years, Mr. Modupe Kadri, the Chief Financial Officer of MTN Nigeria, announced that the company has dedicated more than $120 million towards enhancing 5G coverage. He mentioned that as a result of these investments, the 5G coverage of the population increased from 3% at its launch in 2022 to 11% by 2023. Nevertheless, he pointed out the necessity for the government to promptly deal with the foreign exchange issue and establish equitable pricing in order to promote additional investments.

He mentioned that telecommunication companies are currently collaborating with the regulatory body to ensure that pricing within the industry is fair and sustainable in order to support ongoing investments. Without the possibility of adjusting prices accordingly, he warned that operators may face limitations in expanding their infrastructure in the near future. They encountered a challenge further down the line, but at the moment, they are determined to persevere. Despite people’s doubts, they made the surprising decision to obtain a 5G license.

Decline in the value of Naira has impacted both operators and subscribers.

In the past year, they expanded their 5G coverage to reach 11% of the population, a significant increase from the previous 3%. This expansion required an investment of more than $120 million. Kadri explained that the reason behind the investments was to ensure the network could handle the high volume of traffic and remain resilient. In December 2023, it was reported by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that there was a growth in 5G connections reaching 2.3 million based on the most recent industry data.

At the end of the year, there were a total of 224.7 million active telephone service subscriptions within the country, with only 1.04% of them represented by this particular service. Even though the three telecom companies have set up 5G networks in key urban areas like Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt, the rate of people switching to this new technology is sluggish because of the lack of compatible devices. The decline in the value of the Naira has impacted both operators and subscribers alike.

Mafab Communications faced delays in launching the service.

It has also limited investments in infrastructure and decreased the purchasing power of consumers. As a result, the transition to 5G smartphones has become a challenge for many. In September 2022, MTN made history by introducing Nigeria’s inaugural 5G network. Surprisingly, Airtel followed suit just nine months later in June 2023. Despite obtaining their 5G license alongside MTN, Mafab Communications faced delays in launching the service. It wasn’t until late 2023 that Mafab was able to distribute their 5G routers to the public.

Also, MTN introduced its 5G network in seven major cities across Nigeria, such as Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Maiduguri, Owerri and Port Harcourt. The company is now working on expanding the coverage of the service to more areas. Last June, Airtel successfully introduced its service in Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, and Ogun. The company is looking to expand to six additional states by the end of its first year since the initial launch. In addition to its debut in Abuja, Mafab has introduced its 5G service in other locations.

Related Article: Ericsson Partners with MTN to Launch 5G

Additionally, it pledged to extend the first phase of deployment to six cities nationwide in compliance with the terms outlined in the licensing agreement. Motivated by the possibilities in Africa, their dedication lies in closing the gap in digital access, promoting financial participation, and progressing towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Through their primary business operations and assistance to governments, communities, and clients, they strive to contribute to a sustainable future society as outlined in the UN SDGs, with a focus on eradicating poverty, preserving the environment, and promoting equality by the year 2030.

Related Link

MTN 5G: Website

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