Airtel Nigeria has successfully initiated its Fifth-Generation (5G) network service in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers states. This rollout comes six months after Airtel Nigeria secured the 3.5 gigahertz spectrum to introduce 5G technology in the country, with plans to expand the service to other states in the near future.
Airtel Nigeria joins the ranks of MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Ltd as telecommunications operators that have introduced 5G service in Nigeria. According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), 5G license holders are required to deploy the service in at least 10 states within the first year of obtaining the license.
During a highly anticipated event held in Lagos, Airtel Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer, Carl Cruz, highlighted that the 5G revolution signifies a significant leap from 4G. He emphasized that while 4G technology was remarkable, 5G opens up entirely new possibilities.
Cruz explained that the advent of 5G would foster greater collaboration among stakeholders in the telecoms industry, enabling the exploration of innovative applications such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and Smart Cities.
Expressing gratitude to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Cruz commended the country for being among the first 60 nations to implement 5G technology. He stated, “Airtel Nigeria takes pride in being an early adopter of 5G technology, not only in Africa but also globally. Thanks to the commitment of the Nigerian government, 5G became a reality in Nigeria ahead of many other countries. Additionally, the frequency spectrum band allocated to 5G will enhance the consumer experience.”
Cruz further affirmed Airtel Nigeria’s goal to make 5G accessible and widespread throughout the country. He emphasized that life would become more fascinating and convenient, limited only by the boundaries of imagination.
Highlighting the capabilities of 5G, Cruz explained that it represents a significant advancement from 4G. With 5G, end-to-end video creation supported by Artificial Intelligence can be achieved seamlessly on web browsers, whereas 4G primarily enables smooth video playback and video calls. 5G brings forth a completely new experience, empowering cloud computing, telemedicine, self-driving cars, cloud gaming, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR & VR), Internet of Things (IoT), Smart homes, and much more.
Providing more insight into Airtel’s plans, the Chief Commercial Officer, Femi Oshinlaja, mentioned that in order to ensure widespread access to 5G technology, the company is offering routers at an affordable price of N30,000. Additionally, Airtel has partnered with Samsung to deliver the Galaxy A14 model at a reasonable cost. Oshinlaja assured customers that although 5G technology consumes more data due to its enhanced speed and low latency, the rates and prices of data will remain unchanged. Airtel has collaborated with Samsung for device provision, while Huawei and ZTE serve as its technical partners.