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NCC stalls MTN 5G rollout, as Nigeria falls behind South Africa in deployment

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MTN Nigeria’s plan to rollout its fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks (5G) is being stalled by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

According to the telecom company in its financial statements for Q1 2022, it has fully paid for one lot of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum band, with 3500 – 3600 MHz frequencies allocated to MTN for 10 years.

Ripples Nigeria had reported that MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communication secured the 5G license, with Airtel Nigeria pulling out from the bidding process which took place in December 2021.

However, despite the payment, which is placed at $273.6 million, MTN Nigeria hasn’t received regulatory approval from the NCC, resulting to disquiet around the period 5G network will commence operation in Nigeria.

Read also:5G network set to be deployed in Nigeria, as NCC plans spectrum handover to MTN, Mafab

“We will launch our 5G services once regulatory approval is obtained.” MTN Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, wrote in the financial statements.

In South Africa, telecommunications companies have already began circulating 5G network, with rivals, Vodacom and MTN rolling out in May and June 2020, respectively.

This means Nigeria is two years behind South Africa in the global 5G market, which is projected to be worth $39.57 billion by 2028, according to study by Grand View Research.

Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria said its payment service Bank (PSB) will commence in second quarter of 2022. It stated that there are 10.7 million active users, with about 166,000 active MoMo agents responding to demands.

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