Telecommunication companies in Nigeria (MTN and Airtel in particular) have shown interest in 5G adaptation. MTN has conducted its own 5G test in major cities in Nigeria as far back in 2019. Airtel has also shown interest too.
And now that NCC has approved the use of commercial 5G in Nigeria, there seems to be a new problem – the licensing fee.
According to a report by Premiumtimesng, the licensing fee that is been proposed by NCC for 5G technology is around $197.4 million (that is about N75 billion). This is relatively a huge amount of money to pay for a 5G technology license.
In recent years, there have been more Nigerians accessing the internet which points to the fact that there is increase in the adoption of IT services by Nigerians.
And to bring 5G technology to these users, the price has to be fairly reasonable. This is why MTN Nigeria has recommended that the price for licensing 5G technology be lowered to $50 million. The company also requested that the license validity period should be expected to 20 years instead of 10 years.
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Airtel Nigeria is also sharing similar sentiment on this issue, citing current economic realities in the business environment.
Truth is, the importance of 5G technology cannot be overly emphasize. And referring to its importance, Umar Garba Danbatta, the chief executive officer of NCC said; “5G technology does not only offer enhanced broadband and ultra-reliable low latency communications.”
He added; “It also provides massive machine type communications, where lots of devices will seamlessly connect and interact independently with the Internet without human intervention.”
The price of licensing 5G technology in Nigeria if competitive will give a room for more network providers to compete and this will breed success. But, if the price is too high, then only few network providers might be able to get the license and this won’t breed much competition.
We still have to wait how this all plays out in the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates.