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Nigeria’s 5G rollout being slowed down by lack of infrastructure, says ATCON

The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, on Tuesday said that lack of sufficient infrastructure to drive new technologies could slow down  rollout  of 5G network.

The President of ATCON, Tony Izuagbe, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the 5G technology rollout needed more infrastructure and more connectivity between the infrastructure.

In telecommunication, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for cellular networks which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019.

It is the successor to 4G technology, which connects the majority of modern cell phones.

According to Mr. Izuagbe, the infrastructure needed to support 5G technology will determine how quickly it is adopted.

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, awarded 5G licences to the successful bidders of the 3.5GHz spectrum, and 5G-licensed telecoms companies have since continued to roll out their 5G networks throughout the nation.

The fifth generation network, or 5G, has been the subject of numerous promises from the operators to the public.

The 5G mobile network had been launched by MTN and Mafab in September 2022.

With a commitment to fully cover all Nigerian states by the end of the year, Airtel launched its 5G network in four states in June 2023.

“There is enthusiasm about the 5G,” Mr. Izuagbe added.

“I recall a time when I was in a store, and a customer said, “Do you offer 5G? “

“There is awareness, and operators are receiving many requests.

“However, whether more people will push for 5G will depend on the infrastructure that is available. You are aware that supply and demand play a role.

He claims that compared to the 4G technology, the 5G network will need roughly three times as many base stations.

”Also, it will require a lot of connectivity to all those base stations,’’ the ATCON president said.

He said that the 5G rollout was still in its first phase in Nigeria.

He said that there was no stop date for technology roll out, noting that even the 4G technology was still being rolled out.

Mr Izuagbe said that the 5G initial roll out was concentrated on major cities such as Lagos, Abuja, and Kano.

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