Airtel Nigeria launched its 4G network in Abuja, the country’s capital, on Thursday.
The launch in Abuja is coming few weeks after the mobile service provider launched the 4G network in Ibadan, Oyo state.
Adebayo Shittu, minister of communications, and U.E Maska, commissioner of technical standard at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), were among those present at the event.
Speaking at the occasion, Olusegun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer (CEO) of Airtel Nigeria, said company has replaced old equipment with new ones in the bid to provide consumers with with a better experience.
“We are operating and mordenising our network. We are removing old equipment and installing new ones,” Ogunsaya said.
“Everything that you are now using to receive phone calls is completely new. I am officially honoured to commission the launch of 4G in the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja.
“This will stimulate the economy through unfettered access to information. Already, we are already getting a good feedback. We appreciate the ministry of works and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to lay fibre in the ground.”
On his part, Shittu said no country would be able to develop without a “robust network penetration”.
The minister said so many countries have surpassed Nigeria in development indices because of the use of information and communications technology (ICT).
“We must commend Airtel Nigeria. You will recall that Airtel was the first GSM network in Nigeria. The fact that they have successfully launched (4G) in two cities now means that the coast is clear to cover other cities in Nigeria,” he said.
“Broad band penetration which has been a problem because of the lack of resources to develop GSM operations in Nigeria. What is happening here is giving me a lot of relief. There is no way any country can develop without a robust network penetration to cover all the nooks and crannies.
“There are countries like Nigeria which is resource based , despite 60 years of our oil revenues Nigeria remains and underdeveloped country and we have so many other countries which never had petroleum, some do not have land for agriculture and they have surpassed Nigeria in all indices of development using robust ICT infrastructure.
“So for any country to develop today, ICT is the way to go because it is the catalyst for development all round the world.”