MTN Launches 5G Network in Nigeria

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Despite the fact that over 64.42 percent of the Nigerian population is still running on 2G and 3G is yet to circulate, not to mention 4G, Telecom gaint MTN is already commencing with its 5G network trial in Abuja, making Nigeria the first country the first to do so in West Africa.

The launch of the 5G Network is in line with the telco’s decision to roll out 5G in other major cities in Nigeria before 2020. This is coming immediately after the telco successfully ran a trial of the Network in South Africa, achieving 20 Gigabyte per second (Gbps) with less than five minutes latency.

Earlier in 2018, MTN Nigeria says it will start the commercial deployment of 5G technology before 2020. True to its words, the first official 5G Demo has been launched in Nigeria, in partnership with Huawei.


The test run of the fifth-generation cellular network by MTN is indeed the biggest achievement any telco would naturally boast of in Africa. 5G is better than 4G in a number of ways. 5G technology has 1,000-times the capacity, 100-times the connected device, 100-times the speed, 10-times reliability, and 10-times lower latency than 4G.

Things You Should Know About MTN 5G Trial in Abuja

  1. A comparism test took place between 4G and 5G and it took just 15.78 seconds to download a 2.3 GB video on the 5G network. The same file on 4G took exactly 5 minutes, 3.84 seconds.
  2. 4G network is on the 2600 MHz band and 5G on 26 GHz.
  3. For the trial, MTN secured a 100 MHz spectrum in Calabar and 20 MHz in Abuja. As, expected this resulted in a significant difference between the Internet speed tests in Abuja and Calabar.
  4. A major difference between 5G and 4G, is latency. On 5G, data is sent and received more than 100 times faster than 4G.

MTN plans to conduct another network trials in two other locations in Nigeria: Calabar and Lagos. The network testing in Abuja is powered by Huawei while the test to be carried out in Calabar and Lagos are powered by ZTE and Ericson respectively.

The launch of MTN 5G trial doesn’t mean the telco will abandon older generation cellular networks anytime soon. They will continue to roll-out 3G and 4G networks across the country for the next few years.


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