The effort of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to boost subscribers’ confidence that a new 5G player, Mafab Communications, has indeed gone to the market is not hitting the right note as the operator has no product or service to offer as of Monday.
On August 2, the NCC issued a statement in defence of Mafab Communications, debunking a claim that the new telecom operator, one of the companies granted Fifth Generation (5G), was yet to roll out the service, nearly two years after obtaining a licence and one year after the roll-out date.
According to the commission’s statement signed by Ruben Muoka, director of public affairs, Mafab publicly launched its services in Abuja on January 24, 2023, and in Lagos on January 26. At launch, the services were targeted at six cities – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, and Kaduna.
“The commission has continued to monitor the progress of rollout by Mafab and has been regularly briefed about the status of infrastructure deployment for service offerings as conditioned in its operating licence,” Muoka said.
BusinessDay was one of the many media houses that attended the said launch in January. Mushabu Muhammadu Bashir, chairman of Mafab Communications, did confirm that while the company was holding a launch ceremony, the service was not yet out in the market. However, the company was expected to go live in a matter of weeks.
It has been more than seven months since the launch; BusinessDay can confirm that Mafab does not have a commercial product in the market for 5G network. The company’s website has not been updated with products months after the launch. Aside from taking time to open, the icons on the homepage, like the ‘Tariffs MCom plans’, ‘5G compatible devices’, ‘5G mobile broadband’, and ‘Data packages’ do not open to any page. A search for where to buy the company’s data plans also comes up with nothing.
BusinessDay also sent messages to Bashir for comment on the launch of the company’s 5G but received no response.
“You know, if Mafab has really rolled out their 5G services, NCC won’t have to come to the public to defend them; we’d have known,” Sani Kadiri, a Twitter user, said. “Mafab, a little-known company, was able to pay $273.6 million for a 5G licence and two years later, we still don’t know them.”