Nigeria Becomes First in W/Africa to Launch 5G Technology Trial
By Rabiu Musa
Nigeria has become the first country in West Africa to trial 5G technology and applications. Daily Trust reports that the trial is the result of a strong collaboration between the Ministry of Communications Technology and Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), MTN, Huawei, ZTE and Ericsson.
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, the chairman of MTN board of directors, Engr Ernest Ndukwe said in the demo ceremony of the new technology in Abuja yesterday
Speaking shortly after taking a tour of the exhibition booths, Dr. 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,” he said.
Dr. Pantami said on the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, he has signed a draft Executive Order declaring telecommunications infrastructure ‘critical national infrastructure’, and is being reviewed at the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He said the Order is a short-term measure as Buhari has directed for a proper legislation to address threats to telecommunications infrastructure. The Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ferdi Moolman 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.
Also key to this achievement are our equipment vendors who shared our vision, and whose capabilities were brought to bear in making the 5G trials across the country a reality.” Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue said “In collaboration with our technical partners and the support of the Federal Government, we are proudly putting Nigeria on the 5G technology map.”
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, Mroue said. “5G offers tremendous benefits in terms of speed, latency (less delay), 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
With the success in Abuja, the 5G-demo train will move to Calabar and Lagos. The 5G trials will run in four other cities and will last for three months utilizing trial spectrum allocated to MTN by the NCC.