MTN Nigeria PLC (MTN) has announced that Nigeria has become the first country in West Africa to try 5G technology and applications. This is believed to be the result of a strong collaboration between the Ministry of Communications Technology and Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN and Huawei (Abuja), ZTE (Calabar) and Ericsson (Lagos.)
This immersive demo and experience will travel across three Nigerian cities to showcase the capabilities of 5G and its potential to enable economic growth, and social inclusion.
Speaking shortly after taking a tour of the exhibition booths, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, underlined the potential of 5G for sustainable growth. “I believe as long as we are able to handle the potential challenges, the deployment of 5G is very critical to our economy because of so many advantages of 5G, the issue of latency, speed and many more.”
Stressing the importance of an enabling regulatory framework and protecting telecommunications infrastructure, Pantami stated that on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, he has signed a draft Executive Order declaring telecommunications infrastructure ‘a critical national infrastructure’ which has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for review.
The Minister referred to the proposed Executive Order as a short-term measure, stressing that the President has instructed that a proper legislation be facilitated to deal conclusively with threats to telecommunications infrastructure.
Highlighting the importance of partnerships, Ferdi Moolman, the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria said “Pushing boundaries is easier when your aspirations are supported by likeminded people. We are here today because of the support and guidance of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission who provided the trial spectrum used for this. Today’s success underlines the fact that we are good together.”
Mazen Mroue, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria stated that “In collaboration with our technical partners and the support of the Federal Government, we are proudly putting Nigeria on the 5G technology map.
As we continue to invest in technology solutions to meet the wide needs of our customers, MTN will continue to strengthen these partnerships as we move to build our 5G capacity in future, guided by the standards and spectrum set by the Nigerian Communications Commission.”
In addition to the bandwidth increase for seamless video streaming or the next social application playground, 5G technology supports real-time, ultra-reliable communication between massive numbers of devices.
It creates vast possibilities in innovation and transformation, and will immensely improve quality of living, as users gain a better experience of services and technology in general – from financial services, healthcare, education, and even public service delivery to more leisurely purposes, such as video streaming services, gaming and even self-driving cars.
“5G offers tremendous benefits in terms of speed, latency (less delays), efficiency and security. This pilot offers a unique opportunity for us to explore use-cases and applications in Nigeria, and we are excited about its potential for our country and our company” noted Mohammed Rufai, Chief Technical officer, MTN Nigeria.
Following the successful demonstration in Abuja, the 5G-demo train moves to Calabar and Lagos. In addition to which 5G trials will be run in four other cities across the country. The 5G trial will run for three months utilizing trial spectrum allocated to MTN by the NCC.