The Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mohammed Rufai, engaged media professionals in an in-depth discussion on the details of the recently launched 5G network and its long-term effects on achieving a society with better-integrated Internet of Things (IoT).
Recall that in September, the leading technology company hosted industry stakeholders to a commercial launch of 5G technology, where the organization showcased various use cases, from telemedicine to gaming to a functioning smart house.
During the engagement, Mohammed Rufai took the media, who are fellows of the MTN Media Innovation Programme, through the network technology acquired for the 5G rollout. “We acquired the 3.5 gigahertz spectrum as an option. In that option, we acquired 100 megahertz, a large part of that spectrum. There are two things in terms of spectrum, the band itself, which is 3.5 gigahertz, and then the slice, which is how much of that we have, and we have 100 megahertz. A single slice on the 5G network is double what we have on the 4G network,” he said.
“In addition to the fact that the 5G network has much more spectrum, it is much more efficient. The difference between new technology, from 2G to 3G to 4G and now 5G, is that the technology is maximized, and the usage of that spectrum is more efficient. With a doubled spectrum and the naturally increased efficiency of the network, our 5G network delivers ten times the speed we have on our 4G network,” he concluded.
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An essential aspect of measuring the connectivity quality of the newly launched 5G network is its drastic reduction in latency, the amount of time it takes for data to move from one place to another. On this, Rufai said, “With latency, the aim is to ensure it is as low as possible, and 5G offers ten times less latency on the 4G network. We want to improve user experience by providing a consistently low internet connection.”
Lastly, Rufai, who is leading the execution of the 5G rollout and ensuring that the quality of the network connection of MTN Nigeria is consistently satisfactory to subscribers, spoke on the connection density of the network. He said, “Connection density speaks to the number of people within an area who can connect to a network. Because 5G has a large spectrum and significantly improved antenna technology with things like massive MIMO and beam-forming, we can connect many more people within the same area. On the 5G network, there is almost 100 times more connection density compared to 4G.”
“An important aspect of 5G is that it targets the Internet of Things (IoT). As we advance, we are not only expecting that people will be connecting through their phones but also so many sensors connected to the 5G network to transform use cases. Reducing latency is key to transforming how we can apply IoT.”
MTN Nigeria has launched the 5G network in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Owerri, Port Harcourt, and Maiduguri, with plans to expand continually to other locations.