For a total of $316.7 million, Airtel Nigeria has announced the purchase of a new 5G spectrum as well as an extra spectrum for its 4G network. The company may now roll out a 5G network and increase 4G service in Nigeria thanks to this acquisition.
100 MHZ of the 3.5 GHz band for 5G. This band is often the most desirable for 5G networks worldwide, according to GSMA.
2x5MHz in the 2.6GHz band, which is the typical 4G standard
For those who are unaware, every wireless activity—including television, radio, calls, texts, streaming video, and instant messaging—takes place over airwaves known as Spectrum that are managed by a nation’s government. Nigerian telecoms in Nigeria are provided with spectrum by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
You could not fit as many calls, texts, and streams into one spectrum if you compared spectrums to baskets. You would need to purchase more spectrums from the government, much like Airtel is doing now, when one spectrum reaches its maximum capacity.
Recall how Airtel Nigeria, a division of Airtel Africa, participated in the 2021 5G spectrum auction alongside eventual winners MTN and Mafab Communications but withdrew when the price rose above a certain point. The NCC granted the 5G license to Airtel in December 2022 after discovering that it was the only bidder.
Nigeria had 84 million Internet users in 2022, which is still only 38% of the country’s total population, demonstrating that there is still an opportunity for improvement. Nigeria is Airtel’s biggest African market, and the company claims the acquisition will enable it to roll out 5G and increase its network capabilities to keep up with the country’s rising data use.
High-speed Internet access offered by 5G has the potential to improve our online experience and open up a number of doors for Nigeria’s digital economy.
According to Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, Nigeria would need 5G in order to fully realize its market potential in terms of the expansion of mobile services and national digitalization.
MTN Nigeria and Mafab, who have already obtained 5G licenses, will be Airtel’s rivals. MTN has already started rolling out 5G in the nation, but the rollout costs are significant and there are difficulties deploying the technology, especially in rural areas where 4G handset penetration is low.
In the fight for 5G, it would be intriguing to observe how Airtel distinguishes itself from its competitors. Airtel, like MTN, will provide a home broadband service. The competition will benefit us, consumers, nonetheless.
Airtel has acquired a 5G spectrum, according to Techpoint Africa (2023-01-09).