Technology

January 24, 2023

At last, Mafab rolls out 5G network services

5G,  5G rollout: NCC gives final approval to MTN, Mafab

..Targets 6 cities

...4.8m jobs ‘ll be created – Minister

By Emmanuel Elebeke

The newest telecom operator, Mafab  Communications on Tuesday rolled out its 5G network services for Nigerians in Abuja.

The company also used the occasion to launch its 5G  services to unveiled a brand-new logo  for the company.

Mafab is one of the three  firms that won the bid for the 5G 3.5GHz Spectrum licences in November, 2021.

5G network is next generation of wireless network technology that is fuelling innovation , and transforming  how people  live, work, and  how people work, and play with unmatched data speeds, greater network capacity, ultra-low latency, and higher reliability. 

The  chairman and founder of the company, Dr. Musbahu Bashir

said the company, though, new in the industry is going to offer both voice and data services nationwide.

He said, six cities, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna so far have been listed for deployment of services, while time line for other cites for deployment is in the works.

 “The rollout of Mafab SG network is the beginning of immense opportunities for the country as it represents Nigeria’s capabilities and infinite possibilities”.

“The prospect of increased job opportunities as a consequence of the value-chain benefits the technology will generate and offer is the dream we have all gathered here to launch today”. 

While enumerating the enormous opportunities which the network promises for Nigeria, Bashir said that the 5G network will usher into the country a wide array of business opportunities, wherein various business outfits will expand their frontiers with operational ease and speed, especially in the fields of education, medical sciences, engineering, security, businesses like the banking sector, SMEs, smart cities, transportation, entertainment which will not benefit only urban areas but also meet our long-term goal of ensuring that even people in rural areas and villages also enjoy benefits of this amazing technology”.

According to the Mafab Chairman, “it is only the countries that are able to provide their citizens with the latest network infrastructure which the 5G technology represents, that will also be the ones to thrive in the coming years”.

 “They will be the ones that will stay competitive and the ones who will lead in innovation in addition to bringing socio-economic benefits to their citizens. And so, I can declare that with the 5G infrastructure, Nigeria will surely be ahead of many other countries, especially in Africa. Indeed, with the 5G network, our future as a people and as a country is remarkably bright”,  he added. 

Unveiling the company’s new logo,

 Mafab’s Communications Spokesperson, Adebayo Onigbanjo

 stated that Mafab as an operator born in the data age, will aim to serve its customers and the country by maximizing the value of the digital technology”. 

“While 5G brings a lot of excitement about fast downloads, low latency and high speeds, our promise is ubiquitous data for Nigerians. Broadband is now an essential requirement and our data native network aims to deliver this to Nigerians”, Onigbanjo said. 

“We believe in empowering Nigerians to take advantage of this new paradigm by working with the tech ecosystem, creators, SMEs, Small and medium sized businesses and our corporate enterprises to enable Nigeria maximize the data play”, he added.

In his remarks,  the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami said with the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria by Mafab and MTN about 3.6 to 4.8m jobs would be created in the next 10 years.

He also said that 5G will increase the nation’s GDP as technology plays significant role in catapulting the economy to greater height.

In addition,  the minister said 5G comes with other benefits surge as virtual surgery, real time Communication, security, education, digital banking and smart agriculture.

Pantami, who commended Mafab for the success if its entry into the ever competitive telecom market, with most successful players in the industry explained  that with the launch of 5G network in Nigeria, it would see the country as having the largest Fifth Generation (5G) coverage in Africa. 

The minister, who pledged his support for Mafab and provision of enabling environment, said, ” we will leverage 5G to develop other sectors of the economy”.

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, said the Federal Government under President Muhammed Buhari has created a pro-investment and pro- innovation environment which has seen the emergence of Mafab Communications and with its entrance into the Nigerian market is set to even making it more accessible.

 “The 5G technology is not just a mobile network but represents a new culture, in a new era of connectivity where billions of devices exchange data and instill intelligence in our everyday life. 

It creates new, intelligent systems; and it can help to develop new advanced manufacturing models.

 Mafab Communications limited is a telecommunication company incorporated on July 8, 2020, and licensed by NCC to provide and operate local interconnect and international carrier services. 

Recall that the company, widely described in the media as a telecom under-dog, against all odds emerged as one of the winners of the keenly contested 3.SGHz Spectrum licences in December 2021. 

The licenses are necessary to deploy 5G services in Nigeria.

The other winner is MTN Nigeria.

The third bidder, Airtel Nigeria, dropped out at $270m.

The winning price was $273, 600,000 million and the winners were  expected to pay on or before February 24, 2022.

MTN Nigeria was the highest bidder with additional $15,900,000 million to get Lot 1, while MAFAB Communications added $11,120,000 million to get Lot 2.

The auction was keenly contested with the three bidders participating actively till the 11th round.

The bid opened with $199, 374m, from the reserved bid of $197.4m

The first round of the auction started at a price of $199, 347,256, second round closed at $201,367,740 million, the third at $204,388,256, the fourth at $209,497,962.50, the fifth at $215,782,901.38, the sixth at $224,414,217.43, seven round at $231, 146,643.96, eight round, $240.392,509.71, round nine at $251,210,176.65, round ten at $263,017,050.77 million, round eleven closed at $275,904,886.25 million.

It will also be recalled tat Airtel Networks Limited, which lost out in the earlier bid, joined the 5G league this month after paying the Nigerian Communications Commission $316.7m for 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band for the deployment of fifth-generation network and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz to boost its fourth-generation coverage in the country.

The firm made the payment after winning a solely contested bid for acquisition of 5G Spectrum license last year.

According to the firm, the additional spectrum will support its investments in network expansion for both mobile data and fixed wireless home broadband capability, including the 5G rollout.

With the rollout of its 5G network services, Mafab said that it is fully committed to bringing the benefits of 5G technology to Nigeria and Nigerians through deploying its brand-new network to drive economic and business developments with increased broadband capabilities nationwide.