Mafab launches 5G network in six Nigerian cities

Mcom, formerly Mafab has launched its 5G network across six Nigerian cities but the network is not commercially available yet.

Mafab launches 5G network in six Nigerian cities
Nigeria Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, at Mafab 5G launch

One year after Mafab Communication won the 5G spectrum licence—alongside MTN Nigeria, the new telecom has commenced the rolled out its network across six Nigerian cities; Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, and Kaduna.

"The rollout is the beginning of immense opportunities for the country as it represents Nigeria’s capabilities and infinite possibilities," Mushabu Bashir, chairman of Mafab Communications, said during the launch event in Lagos. During the event, the company also unveiled its new logo and brand name; Mcom.

This launch event which was held in Abuja on Tuesday, January 24 and in Lagos on Thursday, January 26, is not a commercial launch. This means that users cannot access Mafab's 5G network.

This launch is coming five months after MTN roll out its 5G across nine Nigerian states. Recall that Mafab did not launch its network at the same time as MTN due to a five-month extension following delays in receiving its Universal Access Service License and Numbering plan, which did not happen until the end of July 2022.

"MTN commenced the roll and now Mafab has joined the queue, I congratulate the Chairman of Mafab for his commitment to the success of the company. It is absolutely difficult to have a new player who joined the sector within a small period to be competing with some of the active players in the sector," Nigeria Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, stated.

Speaking to journalists at the launch, Adebayo Adebanjo, Mafab's spokesperson said that "[the company] is relatively new but will ride on an existing telecom company to roll out its services to Nigerians on the 5G infrastructure. We have identified the market for our rollout plan and we will continue to expand as the market grows."

5G adoption in Nigeria

Shortly after the launch of the MTN 5G network in August 2022, the company announced a partnership with Intelligra to launch a financing scheme that will grow smartphone penetration in Nigeria to 60% by 2025 through a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) option.

According to Adia Sowho, the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, the partnership intends to drive 5G mobile device growth. "By 2023, we want to achieve 1,000 units of devices daily transactions even as we onboard more outlets, especially in the North," Sowho said in a statement seen by

A report by GSMA revealed that the shipment of 5G-enabled devices into Nigeria and other Sub- Saharan African countries increased by 26.9% in Q2 2022. According to GSMA, cheaper 5G devices were mainly produced by Chinese vendors, with Transsion brands leading the market in terms of the number of sales. It added that at the end of September 2022, 214 mobile operators in 81 markets worldwide had launched commercial 5G services.

In November, Orange Botswana became the first Orange affiliate in Africa to launch 5G commercially. The 5G network will cover 30% of the population in the capital; Gaborone and Francistown.

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