Airtel Nigeria, a major telecommunications provider, is set to launch its highly anticipated 5G mobile network today -- a move expected to intensify competition among industry players, attract new customers and bolster Airtel's market share.
Earlier this year, in a strategic move to solidify its position in the market, Airtel announced the acquisition of a 5G spectrum, along with additional spectrum for its 4G network. This acquisition involved a significant investment of $316.7 million.
According to recent data released by the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Airtel currently controls 27.01 percent of the national mobile subscriber base, while other competitors like 9mobile, Globacom, and MTN hold market shares of 6 percent, 27.28 percent, and 39.70 percent respectively.
By introducing 5G technology, Airtel aims to establish a foothold in the ultra-broadband segment, which has so far been dominated by MTN. The latter launched its 5G network in September 2022, while Mafab Communications has been offering 5G services since January this year.
With the 5G license procurement, Airtel becomes the third telecom operator to obtain a license for this advanced technology in Nigeria. In 2021, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Nigeria Communications Limited secured the initial two lots of 100 MHz TDD slots within the 3.5 GHz band.