Mafab communications has stated that it has secured an extension from the NCC for its 5G rollout. The terms of the 5G licences that Mafab and MTN won say that the licencees are to rollout their 5G services from August 24, 2022, just two days away. A rollout schedule 5-month extension means that Mafab 5G rollout will likely not happen till January 2023.
Mafab’s inability to rollout on schedule does not come as a surprise to industry watchers who had wondered how a new entrant with no infrastructure, capacity or experience won a 5G licence over and above experienced players. Analysts had earlier questioned the ability of a new company to rollout 5G service from the scratch without supporting telecoms infrastructure or experience.
Industry insiders, however, say that the 5-month extension was as a result of Mafab only just obtaining a unified operational licence and Numbering Plan from the NCC only in July (last month).
Social media has been agog with conversations around Mafab 5G since the announcement of the extension. Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria, the only other 5G licences, says it is on course to roll out its 5G network on the 24th of August 2022. If MTN rolls out as planned, and there is no reason to doubt that they will, they will have the playing field to themselves alone for at least 5 months, enough time to lock in millions of subscribers to their 5G network, before any competition shows up.
That kind of head start is massive. It does not look like the Y’ello network’s dominance of the Nigerian telecom market is ending anytime soon. Nobody is even playing catch up. It is total dominance. Expect news of the launch of MTN Nigeria’s 5G network on Wednesday, here on Mobility Nigeria.
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