HomeHeadlinenews#Nigeria’s 5G Subscriptions Reached 2.3 Million In December 2023 – NCC

#Nigeria’s 5G Subscriptions Reached 2.3 Million In December 2023 – NCC

Data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that 5G subscriptions in the country increased to 2.3 million in December 2023.


This, however, represents 1.04% of the country’s total active subscriptions for telephone services, which stood at 124.7 million at the end of the year.

Three mobile network operators, MTN, Airtel, and Mafab Communications have rolled out 5G in Nigeria.


However, while the operators continue to invest in expanding the service, several factors, including the high cost of 5G devices, have slowed down subscriptions for the service, which offers the best quality of experience compared with 2G, 3G, and 4G.

2G still holds the ace

According to NCC, most telephone connections in Nigeria were still on 2G as of December 2023. The industry data shows that 2G accounted for 57.84% of all connections in Nigeria at the end of the year.


The telecom industry statistics further show that 9.80% of the almost 225 million subscriptions were on 3G, a higher generation of network launched in Nigeria in 2007. 3G ushered in the use of video calls and had significantly higher data transfer, operating at a speed of up to 2mbs, and increased bandwidth compared to the 2G network.

According to the Commission, subscriptions for 4G, which the operators started rolling out in 2016 still stood at 31.33% as of December. The data, however, shows that there has been a steady rise in 4G subscriptions as only 25.06% of connections were on 4G as of May 2023.

The device constraint

While the three telecom operators have deployed 5G infrastructure across major cities in the country, especially, Lagos, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt, the service providers are seeing slow adoption due to the device limitation.


While the costs of smartphones generally are high in Nigeria due to soaring inflation, the costs of smartphones are higher, thus deterring many who would have loved to upgrade to a 5G connection.

According to the Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mohammed Rufai, the problem of device compatibility is the reason the telecom operators have continued to maintain their 2G and 3G networks while investing in 4G and 5G.


As you are aware, devices have to be compatible with 5G for them to be used. We have many subscribers in Nigeria who have 2G and 3G devices, and we will continue to cater to the needs of those subscribers,” he said in a recent interview with Nairametrics.

But the challenge is not peculiar to Nigeria according to a recent report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which showed that 5G coverage in Africa was the lowest in the world at 6% as of December 2023.


What you should know

MTN launched the first 5G network in Nigeria in September 2022, while Airtel launched the same in June 2023. Mafab Communications, which secured the 5G licence at the same time as MTN could not roll out the service until late 2023 when it began to sell its routers.



MTN initially rolled out its 5G service in seven cities including Lagos Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, and Maiduguri and is currently expanding the service.


Airtel at launch in June last year rolled out the service in four states including Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, and Ogun with plans to roll out in six more states within the first year of the launch

Mafab also launched its 5G service in Abuja with a promise that the first phase of its rollout would be in six cities across the country in fulfillment of the rollout obligations as contained in the licensing document.






Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img
Must Read
Related News
- Advertisement -spot_img