Airtel Nigeria, a telecommunication provider it will be launching its fifth-generation (5G) mobile network on Monday.

The launch is expected to boost competition in the Nigerian telecoms market. The operator will also attract new customers and improve its market share.

According to the latest Nigeria Communication Commission(NCC) data, the company controls 27.01 percent of the national mobile subscriber base. Other competitors like 9mobile, Globacom, and MTN have market shares of 6 percent, 27.28 percent, and 39.70 percent respectively.

By launching the 5G, Airtel will make its true entry into the ultra-broadband segment hitherto dominated by MTN, which launched the latest-generation technology in September 2022. Mafab Communications has also been providing 5G services since January this year.

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In January this year, Airtel announced the acquisition of a 5G spectrum and an additional spectrum for its 4G network for a total sum of $316.7 million.

Airtel’s 5G licence acquisition increases the number of 5G licences in Nigeria to three. In 2021, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Nigeria Communications Limited won the two available lots of 100 MHz TDD slots of the 3.5 GHz band.

The launch of Airtel’s 5G network should also reinforce the Nigerian authorities’ digital transformation ambitions by accelerating broadband adoption. It will also bring the NCC closer to achieving the target set in Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2025).

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