from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE rollout of fifth-generation (5G) is anticipated to boost Nigeria’s economic growth but a number of factors could hinder its deployment.
This is the observation of a leading economic think-tank, a month after the National Communications Commission (NCC) announced that it had received full payment for the two 3.5GHz 5G spectrum licences it auctioned in December 2021.
FBN Quest Capital, the market watcher, lamented that the implementation of 5G might prove difficult for bid winners – MTN Nigeria (MTNN) and Mafab Communications – due to varying right-of-way permit costs across states, security challenges, 5G device compatibility and high cost of compatible devices.
FBN also noted the foreign currency scarcity for importation of network equipment and the high cost of sustaining power supply at network base stations.
“Nonetheless, 5G implementation will offer more benefits than current challenges,” FBN stated.
The think-tank believes with emerging technologies like virtual reality (VR), the metaverse, artificial intelligence (AI), driverless cars and smart cities, the Nigerian information and communications technology sector has the potential to provide new ways for people to interact and further boost Nigeria’s economic growth.
Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa but it is overly reliant on oil.
Total internet subscribers totaled 143,6 million users as at January 22, according to data provided by the NCC.
FBN projects the number is expected to continually grow as demand for faster internet access, wider access to broadband, and investments into interconnectivity solutions expand.
At the moment, 2G and 3G networks are the most popular for access to internet in the West African country.
In terms of national coverage, 2G has a network coverage of over 70 percent, 3G at 50 percent while 4G coverage is at 37 percent.
The allocation of the 5G network spectrum to MTNN is hailed as positive for the company’s shares given that it is strongly positioned to leverage its existing telecommunications technology to achieve faster access and network delivery to subscribers in Nigeria.
– CAJ News