MTN Nigeria and Ericsson have announced what they call a ‘historic milestone’ with the launch of 5G services in a number of areas of the country.
The first phase of the launch covers certain parts of Lagos and Nigeria where Ericsson’s 5G technology – which includes 5G radio access network and NSA (non-standalone) packet core – will, the partners say, accelerate the development and digitalization of key sectors such as education, healthcare and manufacturing.
The new 5G services, the two companies suggest, can bring about unique sustainable development initiatives for agriculture, energy, financial inclusion and security, among others, overcoming past institutional challenges and barriers to growth.
In the future, they add, MTN Nigeria’s Ericsson-powered 5G network will be driven by software-defined network capabilities where a combination of currently available and well-understood AI techniques will allow a higher degree of practical autonomous operation.
MTN Nigeria, along with Mafab Communications, was one of two Nigerian operators to be awarded 5G spectrum recently. We reported in February that both operators had paid the full $273.6 million for 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum they had won during an auction held last year.
Will more spectrum be required for the full 5G experience? Possibly. As the GSMA points out on its website, the 5G launch band at 3.5GHz has been used by the majority of networks for initial services. It adds: “An increase in the harmonised spectrum available will be required to maintain growth in subscribers and speeds. Low, mid, and high band spectrum are all required to support 5G use cases.”