MTN Nigeria has committed to maintaining its 2G and 3G networks, according to CTO Mohammed Rufai.
This announcement follows the recent renewal of MTN Nigeria's license for the 2,100 MHz frequency band with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for 58.7 billion naira ($127.4 million). This renewal ensures that MTN Nigeria can continue providing 3G services until 2037.
The investment made by telecom operators in sub-Saharan Africa underscores the strategic importance of 3G networks in a region where smartphone adoption remains relatively low. According to the GSM Association (GSMA), smartphones account for 49% of mobile connections in this area. Additionally, the GSMA predicts that 3G networks will continue to dominate, comprising over half of all connections by 2025.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that many telecom operators in Africa are directing their investments toward 4G and 5G networks to meet the growing demand for high-speed connectivity across the continent. Consequently, some operators and governments are advocating for the deactivation of 2G and 3G networks to free up frequencies for broadband and ultra-broadband services. This trend is particularly evident in South Africa.