Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director of NigComSat Limited Photo: NAN

5G Tech: NIGCOMSAT to deploy C-Band to enhance telecoms industry

*The Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) Limited says it considers the C-band spectrum suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services to  boost telecoms industry in the country

Gbenga Kayode│ConsumerConnect

Sequel to the Federal Government’s recent constitution of the spectrum sale committee for the activation of the communication facility, the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) Limited, has said it is repositioned to boost telecommunications industry with the use of its C-Band for the deployment of 5G in the country.

Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director of NigComSat, disclosed this development Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Abuja, FCT, says agency report.

Alale said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between NigComSat Limited and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) for the clearance and use of C-Band frequency for the deployment of 5G in the country.

ConsumerConnect reports NigComSat Limited was established to aid technology development in a Digital Economy.

It is a limited liability company under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and it operates and manages NigComSat-1R. NigComSat-1R, is a geostationary communications satellite launched into orbital slot of 42.5 East degree December 19, 2011.

The NigComSat Chief Executive further explained that the C-band spectrum was considered suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G technology services in Nigeria.

It is taking into consideration availability of the device’s ecosystem with 60-70 percent of global commercial 5G network deployment currently on the C-band spectrum, Dr. Alale said.

She stated: “Beyond the commonplace ceremony that accompanied the event, the MoU is a development that will open up vistas of growth in the telecommunications industry.

“Concomitantly, it also holds the potential to stimulate the country’s economy even as it signposts the capacity of NigComSat Limited to contribute to the Nigerian developing a digital ecosystem,” Alale said.

According to her, the agency also gained another milestone when it entered into partnership with Thales Alenia Space and ASCENA (Agency for Aerial Safety and Navigation in Africa) to demonstrate the viability of NigComSat-1R L-Band payload.

The NigComSat Managing Director said the cooperation had since proved effective in supporting aviation safety in Senegal and Togo.

Alale said there was a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) broadcast signal over Africa and the Indian Ocean September 2020.

“The test bed signal-in space was successfully broadcast through NigComSat-1R SBAS payload globally over Africa, Indian Ocean, West Australian coast and Europe.

“A 9m antenna earth station in Abuja ground station was used with equipment provided by Thales Alenia Space,” she said.

Alale said so far, about 70 percent of the transponders on NigComSat-1R had been utilised for different kinds of services, ranging from satellite broadband to drive activities of the banking sector, health sector, education sector, agric sector, oil and gas sector.

Among other sectors, she noted, are the maritime sector, direct-to-home services, back hauling services, communication on the move and navigational services.

The Managing Director said the Telco Press operating in Burkina Faso and Cote de Ivoire were major customers on NigComSat-1R including some private television who sought anonymity.

“The Nigerian Television Authority has been operating on NigComSat-1R too.

“NigComSat-1R has also been used to support some of the activities of the digitisation agenda of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

“Some of the activities include training of six hundred youths across the country on V-SAT installation to close the digital skills gap, the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025) and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030).”

Alale stated that company has contributed immensely to Broadband penetration target in line with the government’s expectations in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2010-2030 and in other aspects.

However, she noted that a strong legal framework should be in place to further promote and support the activities of NigComSat Limited.

“There is need to encourage MDAs and the private sector to patronise NIGCOMSAT’s products and services against portfolio investments from outside the country who deplete the hard earned foreign reserved.

“”A regulatory framework will effectively drive the coverage of rural, unserved, and underserved areas of the country through the accomplishments of lofty targets as contained especially in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025,” Alale said.

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