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High-speed Internet Gets Boost as Airtel Launches 5G in Nigeria



Airtel 5G

Airtel Nigeria, one of Nigeria’s biggest telecommunications networks, has officially launched its 5G network. 5G technology represents the fifth generation in mobile network technology, succeeding the 4G network.

The company announced that the 5G service will start in four states namely Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, and Rivers, with plans to expand to other cities nationwide.

With the launch, Airtel joins the ranks of MTN and Mafab Communications, who had previously introduced their own 5G networks.

The 5G network will utilize the 3.5GHz spectrum for faster speed and lower latency, while the 2600MHz spectrum will boost network capacity, providing improved connectivity and user experiences.

Airtel Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African telecommunications company with operations in 14 countries across Africa.

According to data from the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Airtel Nigeria currently holds a market share of 27.01% of the nation’s subscribers. The company’s market share is surpassed only by MTN and Globacom with 39.79% and 27.28% market share respectively.

In January 2023, Airtel Nigeria acquired a 5G spectrum, as well as an additional spectrum for its 4G network, for a total sum of $316.7 million from the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC).

The NCC had earlier given the 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum licence for the deployment of fifth generation (5G) network in the country to MTN Nigeria Plc and Mafab Communications Limited. MTN Nigeria has rolled out its 5G spectrum in seven states and has plans to roll out nationwide soon, putting the firm ahead of its peers. Mafab Communications has rolled out in six Nigerian cities.

The introduction of Airtel Nigeria’s 5G network is a significant milestone in the evolution of telecommunications within the country.

This advancement will bring enhanced connectivity and improved user experiences to customers in the selected states, propelling Nigeria’s telecommunications sector forward.

Note that huge investments are undertaken to make 5G project a reality. The Chairman of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Mittal noted that the company is already investing about $400 million a year in its Nigeria operations and with the rollout of the 5G network, about $700 million will be required yearly for the next 3-4 years to achieve a successful nationwide rollout.

The telecommunications sector continues to contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP. The country’s favourable demographics makes us believe that these investments by Airtel and other mobile operators will aid profitability in the long term.

However, the roll-out of the Airtel 5G network and the ongoing expansion of its 4G network is expected to impact its costs significantly, which in turn will affect the company’s profitability in the near term.

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