MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications get Nigeria’s first 5G licences

December 14, 2021
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MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications will each pay $273.6-million for Nigeria’s first fifth-generation (5G) high-speed spectrum licences that they were awarded following an auction held by country’s telecoms regulator on Monday.

The auction, which lasted more than five hours, followed a promise from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in July to start selling off spectrum for the next-generation 5G network in the fourth quarter of this year.

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MTN Nigeria, the west African nation’s biggest mobile telecoms company, little-known Mafab Communications and Airtel Africa were the approved bidders.

NCC Executive vice chairperson Umar Dambatta said after the auction at an Abuja hotel the winning bidders would pay the licence fees in the local naira currency at the ruling exchange rate.

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By issuing the licences, Nigeria joins the race to expand 5G technology in sub-Saharan Africa, where mobile operators in Kenya, South African and Lesotho have already launched the service.

The next generation mobile technology offers faster data speeds and lower latency or response time. It allows several devices to be connected at once and in future could help in the running of driverless cars and facilitate communication and interconnectivity between smart devices.

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