In a surprising development, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has refuted allegations that MAFAB Communications’ 5G service was not operational, firmly asserting that the company’s 5G service is indeed live.
The NCC issued a response to a claim on social media that accused MAFAB of failing to launch the 5G service even after two years since obtaining the license.
According to the NCC, MAFAB acquired its 5G license in February 2022 by paying a substantial sum of $237.6 million. During the license bidding process, MAFAB, along with MTN Nigeria and Airtel Nigeria, competed for the highly sought-after license.
Eventually, MAFAB and MTN succeeded in obtaining licenses on that day, while Airtel secured its 5G license the following year.
Following the license acquisition, the NCC stated that MAFAB officially launched its 5G operations in Abuja on January 24, 2023, and in Lagos on January 26, 2023. Videos supporting this claim are available on the internet.
Although the initial launch took place in two cities, MAFAB disclosed its plans to extend its services to six cities, including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano, and Kaduna.
The regulator further emphasized that it actively monitors MAFAB’s operations and that the company regularly provides updates on the status of infrastructure deployment for its service offerings, which align with the conditions set for its license.
What NCC’s Statement Says About MAFAB
In response to media and social entrepreneur Abubakar Sidiq Usman’s tweet on August 1, stating that MAFAB had not rolled out its 5G service nearly two years after obtaining the license and violated a condition requiring launch within a year, the NCC refuted these claims, asserting that MAFAB’s 5G service is fully operational.
However, the regulator’s response raised doubts among some Twitter users about the authenticity of MAFAB’s 5G launch, as it appeared as if the NCC was acting as a PR representative for the company, rather than maintaining a neutral stance.
MAFAB’s 5G service has not generated much buzz or feedback so far, unlike Starlink, a new player in Nigeria’s competitive telecoms market, which received both positive and negative feedback from customers.
The lack of feedback for MAFAB’s service has led some to question the company’s existence and credibility.
MAFAB’s website does little to dispel doubts about the company, lacking crucial information about the cost of 5G bundles or tariff plans. Some Twitter users agreed with the initial allegation, labeling MAFAB as “fraud” and expressing skepticism about functioning institutions in Nigeria.
An interesting response to the comments revealed that MAFAB’s selection process was deemed dubious, and it was suggested that the company may face challenges in deploying its 5G network due to alleged issues with its financiers, such as Lighthouse Capital, who reportedly withdrew their funds after MAFAB allegedly reneged on an equity agreement.
To regain public trust and credibility, MAFAB should issue an official statement corroborating the NCC’s claim that its 5G service is operational.
Additionally, showcasing feedback from customers who have experienced the 5G service firsthand would be an effective way to prove its existence and capabilities. Until these steps are taken, doubts about MAFAB’s 5G service are likely to persist.
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