Nigerian Mobile Broadband: A 5G Reality Check

5G Technology

Wireless carriers around the world begin the move from 4G to ‘the latest and greatest in mobile broadband technology,’ 5G.

Very often, innovations in the technological space is touted as the next big thing.

We’ve had 3D screens, virtual reality, in-memory processing, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing, to name a few.

What is 5G Technology ?

For those who do not know, 5G is a new-cellular technology representing the ‘fifth-generation’ of mobile networks.

Industry experts already say the coming 5G network would lead us to the age of advanced machine learning,

blended virtual and physical realities and achieve ‘complete network connectivity.’

The impact would cut across ‘industries, geographies and medium.’

Some dubbed it a Revoltion, pointing out that 5G data speeds, that are said to be 10 to 100 times faster than 4G,

and its much lower latency (meaning no delay in connecting to data services) would allow technology dependent on a constant flood of data,

such as autonomous vehicles to have a channel through which data can be uploaded and downloaded.

The Internet of Things would finally achieve its full potential.

But behind the optimistic headlines, how much of the promised change can 5G really deliver, especially in Nigeria?

Well, first, rolling out 5G is ridiculously expensive. The Greenshill report put the cost at $2.7 trillion for this year alone.

With telecom operators still having trouble getting returns on their 4G Investments it’d be some time before Nigerians can access it.

There is also the need switch to a (expensive) 5G compatible phone to consider.

The Reality Whats to Expect from 5G innovations in Nigeria

The Global System for Mobile Communication or GSM Association released a report saying by 2025, only about 15% of all mobile communication will be on 5G networks

Also the fact many of the numbers released to promote 5G are ‘best case scenarios’ and do not represent a reality of the average user experience.

5G coverage could be extremely limited. Even If you can even a 5G signal

the experience may be underwhelming as the data speed, although significantly faster than 4G, may not be in gigabits level as expected.

So, what’s the verdict? Is 5G a ploy by operators to offer new higher-rate packages? Not quite.

5G would bring in changes however, not as much or as soon as we’ve been made to believe.

The future of 5G is hazy. Still, it also…. promising.

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