MTN keen on 5G, partnership with FG on 70% broadband target
Technology firm, MTN, has expressed readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government towards achieving 70 per cent broadband target by 2025, even as it assured it would deploy Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria soonest.
General Manager for Fixed Broadband at MTN, Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, disclosed this in an interview, yesterday. She noted that attainment of 70 per cent broadband penetration could be attained faster if there is collaboration and concerted efforts between public and private sectors.
The Federal Government, through the New National Broadband Plan 2020 to 2025, targets 70 per cent broadband penetration and 90 per cent coverage of the population, with Internet speeds expected for both urban and rural areas put at 25mbps and 10mbps.
Currently, statistics by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) show that 84.6 million people currently enjoy the service with 44.3 per cent penetration. The telecoms regulator has also set August 24 for the deployment of 5G in the country.
Ikenna-Emeka noted that MTN Group’s Strategic Ambition 2025 is in close alignment with the Federal Government’s broadband targets. According to her, the technology provider’s intent is to deliver the right level of effective digital solutions to power Africa’s growth.
She said there is optimism that with existing and new policies, the country is on the right path.
“When we look back at 2012, when we had just about six per cent Internet penetration, to where we are today, there is significant improvement. As of the end of May this year, we had about 43.6 per cent penetration. That is quite encouraging.
“A lot of work is still being done by the Federal Government and organisations like MTN to achieve the right levels of broadband penetration. The journey has already started and further collaborations will help us to get better,” she said.
To improve Internet connectivity in their localities, more than a dozen African countries have tested or are planning to roll out the 5G network in the next few years. The next-gen network is predicted to contribute an additional $2.2 trillion to Africa’s economy by 2034.
In recognition of this fact, MTN said it is demonstrating commitment to providing quality Internet access to Nigerians and has laid the groundwork to provide 5G service in several parts of the country in the coming months.
Enunciating MTN’s role as a driver of quality network across the country, Ikenna-Emeka added: “Today, what is most prevalent is the fixed wireless access, and that is the technology that is being adopted by all operators globally. That’s what we want to scale and accelerate in our drive to achieve broadband penetration.
“We’re very shortly going to launch the 5G technology. There is also a lot of progress we’ve made in fibre optics, which is another prevalent technology. This, along with the 3G, 4G, and 5G networks will provide us with ability to serve more market segments and more different sectors.”