Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


5G Will Roll Out in Nigeria by 2020, Says Regulator

Article Image
Despite a slow start for 4G in the country, Nigeria's regulator is planning for the roll out of 5G networks in the country from 2020 onwards.

In conjunction with the publication of a GSMA report, Spotlight on Nigeria: Delivering a Digital Future, by the GSMA, Professor Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice President of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said 5G will be rolled out on the 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz bands by 2020.

This looks to be an extremely ambitious target, given that mobile broadband penetration in Nigeria is relatively low, with only 44% of Nigeria's mobile subscribers signed up to a 3G service and only 4% using 4G services. (See Nigeria Needs Policy Reform, Says GSMA.)

The planned launch of 5G is also ahead of the projection made by research firm Ovum, which expects 5G will be launched in selected markets in Africa by 2021. (See Africa's Digital Future Looks Bright: Ovum .)

"NCC is already working on the three key factors that will drive 5G deployments, which include infrastructure, spectrum and regulation ahead of the 2020 rollout date," said Danbatta. "We will rely on existing policies and regulation and still come up with additional policies and regulation that will address any hiccups," Danbatta added, responding to the GSMA's call for policy reform.

Though Nigeria's infrastructure may still need improvement, there has not been a lack of resolution to take the country to the forefront of Africa's telecoms arena. Olabiyi Durojaiye, the NCC's Chairman, delivered a keynote address at the recent AfricaCom event, expressing his admiration for the technology advancements in ICT sectors in Silicon Valley, and calling on his peers in other African nations to develop a regulatory environment to nurture "an information-based society in Sub-Saharan Africa."

Not everyone is convinced that Africa needs 5G though. Rob Shuter, Group CEO at MTN, adopted a more cautious view in his own keynote speech at AfricaCom. Instead of racing to 5G, MTN will focus on improving coverage, affordability and services, the so-called CHASE strategy. (See AfricaCom 2018 Day 1: The Roads, the Chase & a Monoblock Phone.)

Should Africa's mobile operators invest in bringing 5G networks and services to Africa as soon as possible or focus their investments on 2G, 3G and 4G for now? Vote now in our Connecting Africa poll.

Wei Shi, Site Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Orange Ventures, Digital Africa promise more funding for startups

Orange Ventures and Digital Africa are teaming up to invest more in tech startups in Africa and the Middle East through Digital Africa's Fuz program and the Orange Digital Center network.


Hot startup of the month: Rwanda's Ampersand

Connecting Africa's hot startup this month is Rwanda's Ampersand, which designs, builds, and manufactures electric motorcycles and battery packs for motorcycle taxis.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.


Leveraging agritech to build resilience against climate change

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook discusses agritech in Africa and how the agricultural sector is using technology to build resilience against the negative effects of climate change and to ensure food security.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002