Airtel Nigeria, the country’s third largest mobile operator by subscriptions, is launching commercial 5G services today. Customers can access the new high speed network via a 5G router or a range of 5G-compatible smartphones and tablets. Upon activating a 5G device on the Airtel network, customers will receive a one-time data bonus of 10GB. Coverage is currently available in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, but will be expanded to other locations in the future.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that in December 2022 Airtel emerged as the sole bidder in the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC’s) second 3.5GHz spectrum allocation process and was assigned 100MHz of spectrum in that band, while a month later it secured 2×10MHz in the 2600MHz band. The 3.5GHz frequencies were earmarked for 5G rollout, while the 2600MHz spectrum will be used to enhance network capacity and future-proof Airtel’s growth opportunity. Airtel noted that the acquisition of 3.5GHz spectrum would enable it to launch 5G connectivity with higher speeds, lower latency, significant network capacity and an improved user experience, as well as accelerate the availability and efficiency of fixed wireless access products.
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