Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of NCC

Nigerian telecoms regulator to auction 5G spectrum by Q4 2021 ─Danbatta

*The Nigerian Communications Commission says the 5G technology is a catalyst for digital transformation, as it would digitalise and greatly impact the Nigerian economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As preparations are in high gear for the allocation auctioning, assigning and commercialisation of 5G spectrum in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms sector regulator, has disclosed that it will auction the 5th Generation Technology (5G) spectrum by the Fourth Quarter (Q4) of 2021.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of the Commission stated this at the maiden International Conference on Information and Engineering Systems (ICIES) Thursday, July 15, 2021, at the Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja.

ConsumerConnect reports the Nile University is a private institution of higher education that was established in 2009, and located in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It was gathered Prof. Danbatta, who spoke on the topic, “5G Deployment: Catalyst for Digital Transformation in Nigeria”, was represented by Mr. Bako Wakil, Director of Technical Standard at NCC, at the conference that centered on “Multidisciplinary Engineering and Applied Sciences”

The Commission’s EVC stressed that for the process of the allocation auctioning, assigning and commercialisation of 5G spectrum to be seamless and successful, the Federal Government must provide an enabling environment, agency report said.

Danbatta said: “The government will provide an enabling environment for 5G deployment, but the MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) will determine their own deployment strategies, subject to alignment with approved polices and other regulatory instruments in force.

“Securing spectrum for 5G is an antecedent for any operator to commit serious investment to 5G infrastructure.”

The NCC Chief Executive further stated “this makes it imperative for the spectrum allocation and assignment process to be concluded as early as possible.

“The following timeline is proposed as optimal in the policy document 5G Spectrum Allocation (Q2 2021) 5G Spectrum Auction (Q4 2021) 5G Spectrum Assignment (Q1 2022) and Commercialisation of 5G Spectrum (Q4 2022).

The NCC EVC also said that researches and tests had been performed on the hazardous impact of electromagnetic emissions from 5G, and that they were far below the minimum required standard.

However, Danbatta expressed optimism that 5G, indeed, is a catalyst for digital transformation in Nigeria and around the world, as it would digitalise and greatly impact the economy of the country.

“The plan to deploy 5G technology creates need for study of the electromagnetic radiation levels which will be generated by the 5G infrastructure.

“These tests were conducted in accordance with the International Commission on Non-lonizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines for general public exposure to time varying electromagnetic fields,” stated he.

The EVC further explained: “The results of the test show that radiation from 5G infrastructure is far below the ICNIRP specification for protection of members of the public and therefore, suggest that no public health hazards are expected from the use of 5G in Nigeria.

“Scientific evidence from studies carried out by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), all show that exposure to radio frequencies are safe and does not cause or initiate the occurrence of cancers.

“We are hopeful that the 5G revolution will transform our nation and the economy digitally and become a developmental revolution as well as digital transformation tools, reaching out and bringing benefits to everyone everywhere.”

Earlier in his address on the occasion, Prof. Osman Aras, Vice-Chancellor of Nile University, stated that the conference would provide an enabling platform for students, researchers and professionals in the industry to share views on current research work for advancement of knowledge, technology and multidisciplinary research.

Prof. Aras noted that the conference would not have any meaning without reaching end users, or being to practical use.

Otherwise, there would be volumes of knowledge on the shelves and the Internet without consumers, he said.

The Vice-Chancellor stated: “This will form collaborations for advancement of knowledge, technology and multidisciplinary research.

“We are in an era which has shaped our lives in such a way that our major concerns are contributions to the well-being of others, presently and in the time to come.”

He added: “The outcomes of this conference will therefore, have no meaning unless they reach the end users or put to practical use.

“Otherwise, we shall have volumes and volumes of knowledge, some on our shelves and others on the internet without any consumer.

“Many academicians have become aware of this fact as the number of conferences and participants increase dramatically.”

Likewise, Prof. Steve Adeshina of the Nile University as the Chairman of the conference, disclosed that the conference was a collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences of the institution.

“The conference is, indeed, a testament of the cooperation that exists between the two faculties.

“The ICIES is to provide an enabling platform for students, researchers and professionals in the industry across various fields of engineering and applied sciences to share their current research works, exchange ideas and form collaboration for advancement of knowledge, technology and multidisciplinary research,” Adeshina said.

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