Almost exactly one year to the day when on January 25, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari launched the National 5G Policy for Nigeria’s digital economy, the Mafab Telecommunications Company on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) inaugurated the Fifth Generation (5G) network and unveiled its logo.
The company had used the opportunity of the launch of its 5G services to unveil a brand-new logo, which it described as heralding the dawn of a new era of infinite possibilities which the technology offered.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Mafab, Dr. Mushabu Bashir, said that the launch had added another chapter in the organisation’s journey towards a brighter and stronger future filled with hope and prospects.
Bashir said that, with the 5G, business outfits would expand their frontiers with operational ease and speed, especially in the fields of education.
Other fields, according to him, are medical sciences, engineering, security, and businesses such as the banking sector, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and smart cities, among others.
He posited that 5G would not just benefit the urban areas, but also meet long-term goals of ensuring that rural areas and villages enjoyed benefits of this amazing technology.
“The rollout of Mafab 5G network is the beginning of immense opportunities for the country as it represents Nigeria’s capabilities and infinite possibilities.
“The prospect of increased job opportunities as a consequence of the value-chain benefits the technology will generate and offer is the dream we have all gathered here to launch today,” the Mafab Chairman said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professr Isa Pantami, recalled that on January 25, 2022, the President had launched the National 5G Policy for Nigeria’s digital economy.
Pantami said that, as the Chairman of the National Frequency Management Council, he handed over the frequency spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and it conducted a transparent auctioning where two operators – Mafab and MTN – emerged as the winners.
“MTN commenced the roll out and now MAFAB has joined the queue, I congratulate the Chairman of MAFAB for his commitment to the success of MAFAB.
“It is absolutely difficult to have a new player who joined the sector within a small period of time and also to be competing with some of the active players in the sector”, Pantami said.
He said that 5G had enormous benefits for security institutions, “because there are technologies in security that leverage on it which allows security institutions to properly manage security situations”.
He added: “5G allows real time communications, and this has so many benefits to our security institutions to manage challenges effectively, like robots.
“There are so many technologies and artificial intelligence to help our security institutions.
“All of them leverage effectively on 5G, so this is in addition to economic benefits.”
The Minister said that there were many benefits of 5G, most importantly towards economic development.
According to him, research conducted by Boston Consulting limited in the United States of America (USA) in February 2021 had indicated that the rollout of 5G in the US would increase their gross domestic product.
Pantami said: “This will increase within 10 years by a minimum of 1.4 trillion United States Dollars to 1.9 trillion USD.
“So, the benefits of 5G deployment are beyond just quality of service.”
The Minister said there were so many benefits because new technologies come along with new benefits like low latency, very high-quality broadband and faster network.
Pantami added: “It allows real time communication or almost near real-time communication.
“Today, using 5G, virtual surgery is being conducted globally. They did in the US and also in China.
“They recently conducted a virtual surgery where the distance between the surgeon and the patient is over 3,000 kilometres, but the surgery was conducted successfully. Treatment of Parkinson’s (Disease) in China, they did it also recently.”
In his presentation, Mafab’s Communications spokesperson, Mr. Adebayo Onigbanjo, while unveiling the company’s new logo, assured his audience that “as an operator born in the data age, Mafab will aim to serve customers.”
Onigbanjo said that it would also serve the country by maximising the value of the digital technology.
“While 5G brings a lot of excitement about fast downloads, low latency and high speeds, our promise is ubiquitous data for Nigerians.
“Broadband is now an essential requirement, and our data native network aims to deliver this to Nigerians,” Onigbanjo said.
It would be recalled that MTN Nigeria and MAFAB Communications, having each won the 5G licenses of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction conducted on December 13, 2021, had each paid 547.2 million USD licence fee to the Federal Government by February 24, 2022.
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