Ahead of 5G technology deployment in Nigeria early next year, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Dambatta, has said the Commission has set the reserve price for acquiring each slot in the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band, which will be used for 5G services, at between N75billion and N100 billion. This means that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to earn N500 billion from the auction of five slots of spectrum for the deployment 5G technology in the country.
The identification and subsequent release of the spectrum for 5G by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) followed the grant of approval to deploy the technology by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). This came after Council approved the National Policy on Fifth Generation Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy earlier presented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami. The implementation of the National Policy, which was developed over a period of two years, due to the need for extensive stakeholder engagement and the need to ensure adequate public awareness and sensitivity around 5G technology, took immediate effect from last month.
Technical Assistant on Information Technology to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Femi Adeluyi disclosed last month that the National Frequency Management Council would soon release spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission for the Mobile Network Operators that meet all the required conditions.
Adeluyi stated that leading international organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the International Telecommunications Union, an arm of the United Nations, have confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks is safe and has no adverse effects on health.
“5G networks offer significant advantages over the current technologies. Some of its advantages include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater device density, longer battery life for nodes, and greater network flexibility. Several countries have already commenced the deployment of 5G and are enjoying its benefits,” stated Adeluyi, who listed the countries to include the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, South Africa, and Lesotho.
Spectrum Trading Guidelines
Yesterday Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, stated that three of the Commission’s regulatory instruments are set to offer enabling provisions that will help the country in tackling security and insurgency; as well as to enhance spectrum availability to facilitate the deployment of 5G technology. One of these instruments is the Spectrum Trading Guidelines, that seek to promote certainty and transparency by outlining the detailed procedure and conditions for spectrum trading in the Nigerian communications sector.
While underscoring that the availability of spectrum frequency is a necessary element in the deployment of the 5G technology in Nigeria, Danbatta said the recent approval of the 5G Deployment Plan by the Federal Government makes the Spectrum Trading Guidelines review process expedient. He also said that the public inquiry is a precursor to the Commission’s current drive towards ensuring that frequency spectrum is readily available to licensees through a rapid and effective process.