MTN Nigeria Communications Plc started an open 5G pilot last week as it plans to roll out 5G services in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri and Maiduguri soon.

According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, 5G licensees would begin the rollout on August 24.

Mafab Communications Limited, the only other telecommunications company with a 5G license, has since announced that it will miss the commission’s target.

This is because the NCC has granted it a five-month extension to roll out 5G services due to the delays in providing the telco with a licensing and numbering plan for Unified Access Service.

Chairman, Mafab, Musbahu Bashir, said: “I have no doubt that the service will help drive improvements in education, business, smart cities and entertainment. The goal remains to launch before the 5-month extension period and we will share more information in the near future.”

MTN, for its part, is testing the next-generation network infrastructure pending launch and customers with certain enabled devices will be able to connect to and try out the new service wherever coverage is available.

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During the pilot test, the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adia Sowho said: “Every major technological evolution is redefining what is possible – changing the way we live and the way we connect.

“MTN Nigeria is at the forefront of every leap in telecommunications: from GSM to 2G, 3G and 4G. 5G has the potential to change everything. It allows us to connect, create, collaborate and compete in ways we couldn’t even imagine.

“We appreciate the continued support and leadership of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission in implementing the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy, which promotes the implementation of 5G in the country has stimulated. We are honored to be a part of this revolution and being the first to bring 5G to Nigeria, we are really excited about all the possibilities for the nation.”

Seven states are expected to expand the network to several more within the shortest possible time, experts say.

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