MTN Nigeria will start the commercial deployment of 5G technology before 2020, according to Ferdi Moolman, chief executive officer of the Telecom giant.
Moolman, speaking through Bayo Adekambi, chief transformation officer of the company, stated that the 5G technology would attract investment in health, education and business.
“In 2017, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ericsson to collaborate on the rollout of 5G infrastructure in South Africa as a trial. We have also tested 5G use cases, which we believe will get us ready for commercial deployment before the year 2020,” he said.
This is coming after the completion of the first 5G technology and application trials in South Africa in partnership with Ericsson, in which the telco achieved a throughput of over 20Gbps with less than five minutes latency in the 5G trial.
The company described the speed as the highest achieved on any mobile network in Africa.
Moolman stated that some part of the technology would be deployed in Nigeria to drive advancement in health diagnosis and education, among other areas.
He called for a more conducive business environment and protection of telecom infrastructure in order to attract investment envisaged when the technology is deployed.
MTN CEO stated, “We will need a more stable economic climate to support the investment in the infrastructure. The issue of tax must be reviewed. There must be support for telecom infrastructure as national assets to be able to drive incremental investment and make the nation appealing to foreign investors.
“5G will make our life better, drive incremental capacity and open up new businesses. MTN as a company is constantly making efforts to break barriers by democratising voice and data connectivity in order to improve subscriber experience, and has invested over N800bn in infrastructure in Nigeria.”
MTN had tested a range of 5G use cases and applications in its test lab proof of concept in South Africa, and promised to continue to identify 5G use cases and applications for the digital transformation of industries such as mining, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.
Ericsson had predicted that in the coming years, major deployment of 5G networks globally would be seen from 2020 and would reach one billion subscriptions by the end of 2023.
Already, Ericsson has engaged 38 network operators in the development of 5G networks and secured credit facilities to the tune of $370m from Nordic Investment Bank and AB Svensk Exportkredit.