List of MTN, Airtel 5G Service and Coverage Areas in Nigeria as FG Defends MAFAB Communications

List of MTN, Airtel 5G Service and Coverage Areas in Nigeria as FG Defends MAFAB Communications

  • The federal government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), granted 5G licenses to three telecommunication companies
  • While MTN, Airtel have already launched services, there is confusion surrounding the status of Mafab Communication's service
  • The NCC has come out to clear the air while also defending Mafab Communications 5G network launch

MTN, Airtel, and Mafab Communications are the three telecommunication companies with fifth-generation network(5G) licenses.

The three telco companies paid $273.6 million to acquire the licenses from the federal government.

5G service in Nigeria
MTN and Airtel are the two telecom companies that offer 5G services in Nigeria. Photo Credit: Fernando Gutierrez
Source: Getty Images

MTN and Mafab Communications were the companies first granted the 5G Spectrum license after outbidding others on December 13, 2021 at an auction organised by the NCC.

In December 2022, Airtel also secured a 5G Spectrum license, having been the sole bidder in the auction this time.

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MTN, Airtel launches services

MTN and Airtel have both gone on to launch their 5G service across different cities in the country.

In a recent statement, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, revealed that the company has rolled out the 5G service at 13 cities and over 700 sites in Nigeria.

The cities include:

  • Lagos
  • FCT (Federal Capital Territory)
  • Owerri
  • Ibadan
  • Maiduguri
  • Abeokuta
  • Shagamu
  • Ifo
  • Warri
  • Enugu
  • Benin City
  • Kano
  • Port Harcourt

Airtel 5G service

Similarly, Airtel, despite joining late, announced that its 5G services are now live in the following cities also:

  • Lagos
  • Ogun
  • Rivers
  • Federal Capital Territory

Mafab communication

The relatively unknown Mafab Communication, as per checks by, is still pending its 5G network going live, even two years after acquiring its 5G license.

This is in contrast to a recent statement from the NCC claiming that Mafab Communication's 5G network is now operational.

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A statement signed by the commission's director of public affairs, Ruben Muoka reads:

“For a fact, MAFAB Communications is one of the two successful companies that won a 5G Licence during the globally acclaimed transparent 5G Auction conducted by the Commission on 13 December 2021. Upon fulfilling the condition of payment for the fee of $273.6 million in February 2022, the company formally received the licence on 22 February, 2022.
“Consequent upon issuing the 5G licence, and in line with the rollout conditions, MAFAB publicly launched its services in Abuja on 24 January, 2023, and in Lagos on 26 January, 2023. At launch, the services were targeted at six cities – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Kaduna.

However, a quick check on the company’s website shows no update on the reported launch or a guide on how Nigerians subscribe to the company's service.

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