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.

4G/5G

MTN Nigeria turns on 5G services in seven cities

Article Image
MTN Nigeria has turned on its fifth-generation (5G) mobile Internet services in seven cities across the West African country. The launch comes after three years of preparation from from mobile operators and the Nigerian Federal Government.

In a statement, MTN said it is testing its network infrastructure in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri and Maiduguri, adding that customers with certain 5G-enabled devices will be allowed to connect with and try out the new service where coverage is available.

During MTN's recent half-year results statement for the six months to June 30, 2022, MTN Nigeria CEO Karl Toriola said the telco was on track to launch 5G services across the country in the third quarter of this year and the telco looks set to make that happen.

The West African country is joining a handful of other African nations that have launched commercial 5G services on the continent.

In South Africa data-only network Rain rolled out its 5G services in 2019 and Vodacom and MTN followed with commercial launches in 2020.

In Kenya, Safaricom became the first telco to launch 5G in the East African nation in 2021. MTN Ghana had planned to pilot its 5G services this year but has now postponed the pilot until 2023.

Regulatory woes

Nigeria's 5G rollout was a bit slower than those of other economies in Africa, because of spectrum approval, which MTN finally received on September 8, 2021.

MTN Nigeria acquired one lot of 100MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum band from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

"We're honoured to be a part of this revolution and being the first to bring 5G to Nigeria we are truly excited about all the possibilities for the nation," said MTN Nigeria's chief marketing officer, Adia Sowho, in a statement.

Subscribers return

MTN's 5G rollout comes at a time when the telco is seeing some recovery to its customer base, with mobile subscribers increasing by 7.6% YoY to 74.1 million at the end of June.

This was after government regulations forced it to restrict outgoing calls for millions of subscribers whose SIMs had not been linked to their National Identity Number (NIN) in April 2022.


Want to know more about 4G and 5G in Africa? Check out our dedicated 4G/5G content channel here on Connecting Africa.


According to statistics from market research company Omdia, MTN was the leading mobile operator in Nigeria in the second quarter of 2022 with around 79 million subscribers and over 38% market share.

Airtel Nigeria is the second-largest operator with 58 million subscribers and 28% market share. Glo Mobile Nigeria is third with 56 million and 27% market share, leaving 9Mobile with almost 13 million subscribers and 6% market share.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Image by starline on Freepik

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: South Africa's Zoie Health

This month's hot startup is South African digital women's health clinic Zoie Health – a digital app that focuses on family planning, fertility and maternity care.

Story

Orange Côte d'Ivoire launches 5G lab in Abidjan

Pan-African telecoms operator, Orange, has launched a 5G lab in Côte d'Ivoire in anticipation of its 5G network rollout in 2023.

More Innovation hub

Partner perspectives

5G is lighting up the future of North Africa
By Chris Meng, VP of Huawei Northern Africa Carrier Business Department

The moving target that is telecoms fraud
By Clémentine Fournier, Regional VP Sales, Africa, BICS

How mobile operators in Africa can address signalling threats and secure the network
By Katia Gonzalez, Head of Fraud and Security at BICS

All Partner Perspectives

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on inclusivity with Digital Council Africa's Juanita Clark

Digital Council Africa founder and CEO, Juanita Clark, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and what needs to be done to make the tech industry intentionally inclusive.

Story

Women in Tech: Spotlight on legal tech with Life.file's Sinal Govender

Life.file co-founder, Sinal Govender, talks to Connecting Africa as part of our Women's Month series about her career and how we can encourage more young girls to enter the legal tech field.

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Latest video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: June 2022

By Omdia Analysts

5G was the major news trend across Africa in June, as Orange became the first operator to launch 5G in Réunion and operators in Senegal accelerated their 5G plans despite spectrum delays.

More Guest Perspectives

Upcoming events

Africa Tech Festival
November 7-11, 2022
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Flash poll

All polls

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up