Mafab Communications is set to roll out its 5G network services and unveil its brand logo to the public this week in Abuja and Lagos. According to a BusinessDay report, the unveiling of the logo would happen at events in Abuja on Tuesday and Lagos on Thursday, respectively. Only guests and members of the press are expected to attend.
Mafab, alongside MTN Nigeria, won the 3.5GHz spectrum auction conducted by the Commission in December 2021. However, the company has waited this long before rolling out the 5G services because it did not receive the unified operational license and numbering plan until July.
.The NCC had issued a five-month extension to the company when it became evident that it could not launch the network service in September 2022 as earlier proposed. However, speaking of this new roll-out plan, Musbahu Bashir, chairman of Mafab Communications Limited, said,
We are fully committed to bringing the benefits of 5G services to Nigerians and deploying a network that will drive economic development with increased broadband capabilities nationwide.Musbahu Bashir, chairman, Mafab Communications Limited
According to the report, the company has declined approaches from investors and collaborators for possible mergers as it has been busy building its sites across the country.
5G in Nigeria
Like many other countries, Nigeria has seen a transformation and a rise in internet penetration. The telecommunication industry has played a significant role in extending connectivity to almost all areas of the country.
The cellular data coverage has moved from 1G to 4G, and now 5G. In 2021, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Nigeria Communications Limited won the two available lots of 100 MHz TDD slots of the 3.5 GHz band.
However, MTN became the first telecom operator to roll out 5G network services throughout various Nigerian states in August 2022. The extension period granted by NCC prevented Mafab Communications from launching its services. According to Punch, the telecommunications provider was reportedly already testing its operations in a few Lagos locations.
In December 2022, another telecom operator, Airtel, emerged as the sole bidder, having been the only one to pay the Intention to Bid Deposit (IBD) as stipulated in the Information Memorandum (IM). This brought the telecommunications giant closer to receiving the license to deploy the 5G network in Nigeria.
At the end of 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the year’s 5G spectrum auctions had brought in $547 million for Nigeria. This has demonstrated that the IT sector’s 18.47% contribution to the nation’s GDP has significantly impacted economic growth.
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