5G Network – NCC extends Mafab Communications 5G rollout to 2023

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a 5-month extension to Mafab Communications for the rollout of its 5G service. Mafab, a new player in the Nigerian telecommunications sector that won the 5G spectrum license alongside MTN in December last year, now has until January 2023 to launch 5G.

Going by the conditions of the license, the two operators were expected to roll out the service effective from August 24, 2022. However, while MTN is forging ahead with its plans to deploy the service before the end of Q2 2022, Mafab has 5 more months to prepare.

While Mafab disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday, the Director of Public Affairs at the NCC, Mr Reuben Mouka, confirmed the development to Nairametrics, noting that the extension was granted due to the delays in issuing Mafab’s unified operational licence, (USAL) and Numbering Plan, which did not happen until the end of July.

What Mafab is saying

In a statement announcing the extension, Chairman of Mafab Communications Limited, Dr. Mushabu Bashir, 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. I have no doubt that the service will help deliver improvements in the fields of education, business, smart cities, and entertainment.

“The goal remains to launch before the five-month extension period and we will be sharing more information in the near future,” he added.

What you should know

  • 5G technology is expected to offer Nigerians higher data speed, improved reliability, and availability. The benefits are far-reaching as the service will enable Nigerians to achieve more with broadband and increase the nation’s broadband penetration, quality of service, and capabilities.
  • Nairametrics reported that the NCC announced the approval of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Airtel Networks Ltd and Mafab Communications Ltd., as qualified bidders of the forthcoming 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum auction.
  • It was also reported that the Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) and Mafab Communications Limited were both been awarded the slots for the 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) Fifth Generation (5G) Technology spectrum as they emerged winners of the auction by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
  • The auctioning was organised on November 13, 2021 by NCC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
  • In the assignment stage, two slots of 100MHzTDD available at 3.5GHz band were for bidding to support the delivery of broadband services for the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.
  • The bidders which were Mobile Telephone Network (MTN), Airtel Nigeria and MAFAB Communications ended at the Main stage, dropping down to two bidders of which MAFAB and MTN emerged winners.
  • With MTN’s planned launch before the end of the third quarter, Nigeria will become the first in West Africa to launch the fifth generation technology (5G) network and the third in Africa after South Africa and Kenya.


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