Nigerians may enjoy 5G services soon as MTN Nigeria plans an early launch of the technology. According to the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, 5G services may go live in the nation as early as the second half of 2022 as the company is ready for it.
This is a couple of months after the firm paid its spectrum license fee and ahead of what the Nigerian Communications Commission proposed in its ‘Draft Information Memorandum on 3.5 GHz Spectrum Auction.’
The commission had said 5G would be rolled out in six states within its first two years of deployment.
On Wednesday, Toriola divulged this during the launch of the MTN Media Innovation Programme in Lagos.
He said, “Nigeria is probably the first, maybe the second, to do a proper 5G spectrum auction with enough bandwidth to give real 5G service, and we must thank the minister and the NCC for this.
“A few months later, South Africa decided to do their own spectrum auction pretty much copying Nigeria. According to the Information Memorandum for the auction, we would be able to launch early in the second half of 2022, but we are working with the ministry and the regulator to see if we can bring 5G to life a lot earlier in Nigeria.”
In December 2021, MTN and Mafab Nigeria Communications Limited won the NCC’s auction for the two available lots of 100 MHz TDD slots of the 3.5 GHz band to provide 5G in the country.
Since winning the auction, Mafab has said little or nothing about its deployment plan.
Meanwhile, MTN and Pan-Atlantic University announced the launch of the MTN Media Innovation Programme, run by PAU’s School of Media and Communication.
According to the organisations, the programme is a six-month, fully funded fellowship for Nigerian media practitioners designed to support the sustainable development of the nation’s changing media scene.
They added that the fellowship is designed to give participants a greater understanding of the nation’s technology sector and the connection between media and technology.
Toriola said, “We are driven by our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world and are driving accelerated growth by leading digital solutions for Nigeria’s progress.
“Against this backdrop, the media landscape continues changing at remarkable speeds, boosted by new technologies. Thus, it is only fitting that we support developments in the Nigerian media space with our infrastructure and enable capacity building initiatives to facilitate innovation in media practice.
“It’s a delight to partner with Pan-Atlantic University, who, through their expertise, have contributed to the professional development of the media industry, not only in Nigeria but across Africa.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Pan-Atlantic University, Prof. Enase Okonedo, added, “The School of Media and Communication was established to train professionals who will uphold the highest intellectual, ethical, and professional values that promote creativity, critical knowledge, social responsibility, and the spirit of enterprise.
“The MTN Media Innovation Programme could not have come at a better time for Nigerian media practitioners to imbibe these pertinent values.”