MTN Nigeria has commenced its 5G network trial, making the country the second to do so in Africa, which follows after a successful launch of C-band 5G trial in South Africa, earlier in the month.
While MTN will be leveraging on Huawei technology for 5G network trial in Abuja, that of Lagos and Calabar which is scheduled to come next will be powered by Ericson and ZTE respectively. MTN had secured a new 100 MHz spectrum for the trial in Calabar and a 20 MHz for Abuja, which may result a significant difference in the 5G Internet speeds for Calabar and Abuja.
But unlike optical fiber that require cables, the fifth Generation of Cellular Network Technology, 5G basically runs on cloud-based architecture.
What's the Speed difference between 4G and 5G Cellular Technology?
4G is the currently most dominant network technology in the world, but that won't be for long, as many nations are already deploying the 5G technology at astronomical rate, and things are about to change. 4G brought a lot of promising emerging technology to limelight, like the Internet of Things (IoT) which is now a real possibility and also allowing the ability to manage huge number of connections on the network.
Apparently, 4G mobile internet speeds were up to 500 times faster than the earlier technology, 3G and amply supported HD TV on mobile, with high–quality video calls, and fast browsing and streaming experiences for mobile users.
However, 5G is far more faster, and more efficient than 4G. It guarantees mobile data speed that's far ahead of the fastest broadband network currently available, with speed of up to 100 gigabits per second. In fact, 5G promises to be 100 times faster than 4G, during a comparison test by MTN Nigeria on both 4G and 5G networks, it took only 15 seconds to download 2GB video on the 5G network. But same file took about 5 minutes to download on 4G, exactly 3.84 seconds.
The download speed on the MTN 5G network was about 1 Gbps, but could go as high as 4.1 Gbps. That of the 4G network was about 68.2 Mbps, which is just a fraction compared to 5G network speed. It should also be noted that the 4G network is on the 2600 MHz band, against the 5G on 26 GHz.
Does Nigeria have 5G-enabled devices, yet?
No doubt, the country is witnessing an unprecedented level of mobile proliferation, but within this huge chunk of smartphones are the majority of sub-standard Chinese phones which cannot even boast of having 4G chipset, let alone 5G.
This has aggravated the worry about the level of penetration of devices that are 5G-ready, however there is some good news for customer premises equipment (CPE), whereby Nigerians can experience the 5G network right in their homes, and on any device, even though the device isn't 5G-enabled, as what’s only required is a device with WiFi connectivity.
In fact, it is projected that there will be over 20 billion connected devices by 2020, all of which devices will require connections of greater capabilities. Will Nigeria be ready, then?