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Is Nigeria ready to join Kenya and South Africa in the 5G era?

By Ruth Olurounbi
Posted on Thursday, 30 December 2021 11:58

Chile 5G Network
Sebastian Vasquez, a MTB downhill world tri-champion, demonstrates how he looks through goggles that are connected to a 5G network that is live-streaming video back to him of what he aims is site at, before riding his bike wearing the goggles during the inauguration event of the 5G network in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

With 43% of its population living below the poverty line and an underdeveloped fixed broadband infrastructure, will Nigeria be able to implement the 5G network?

The adoption of the 5G network in Nigeria is pegged on its huge population, half of whom are poor. As of March 2021, there were at least 78.61 million 3G/4G mobile broadband subscriptions in Nigeria, according to Statista. This is a decrease when compared to figures from the previous month, but an increase from the 76 million subscribers during the same period in 2020, the data agency states on its website.

The World Bank’s digital economy diagnostic on Nigeria shows that while the “country has made several positive developments in the digital space, including high-speed Internet via five underwater international links”, it “continues to face significant challenges” that have hindered its ability to “reap the full benefits of the digital economy.”