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5G Tech: Danbatta restates NCC’s commitment to Broadband, consumer protection, digital economy

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, FNSE, FRAES, FAENG, FNIEEE, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC at the Spectrum Auction in Abuja, FCT Photo: NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission, at the 3.5Ghz sprectrum auction in Abuja, restated its commitment to deepening Broadband penetration, consumer protection, and smart deployment of infrastructure for driving the evolving Nigeria digital economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has explained the strategic role of activating the Fifth Generation (5G) networks in deepening Broadband penetration, protection of consumers, and smart deployment of infrastructure for driving the digital economy for socio-economic transformation of the West African country.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, FNSE, FRAES, FAENG, FNIEEE, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), noted this in his welcome address at the historic 3.5 Gigahertz (Ghz) sprectrum band auction event held Monday, December 13, 2021, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, FCT.

Prof. Danbatta stated that the occasion was a “momentous auction that will herald a new era in mobile technology services deployment in Nigeria.”

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The telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s EVC/CEO noted that the auction was momentous in many regards, and would usher Nigeria into “the exclusive league of countries providing 5G service across the globe.”

Broadband penetration, consumers’ wellbeing and infrastructure upgrade

While appreciating his association with the spectrum auction process, Danbatta said since President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, brought him and his team on board in 2015, the NCC Board and management have decised to reposition the Commission on “a path that will ensure the uptake of all the opportunities that abound in the communications sector” in the country.

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“We committed ourselves to deepen broadband penetration, protect the consumers and the smart deployment of infrastructure across the country.

“We further committed ourselves to strategically play our unique role in driving the digital economy to support the government’s economic diversification agenda,” said he.

Regulatory frameworks, policies and stakeholder partnerships

According to NCC’s EVC/CEO, the Commission has ensured the implementation of policies for effective communications resource management, strategic collaboration and partnership, facilitating broadband penetration and improvement of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE).

RELATED: Stakeholders, Broadband Access Critical To Effective 5G Deployment, National Development ─Pantami

Danbatta further explained through these initiatives and efforts, the telecoms regulator ensured participation in International Telecommunication Union (ITU) activities and other international fora in order to keep abreast of global development in the communications sector.

Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital economy

In terms of regulatory frameworks, he also explained the NCC developed Strategic Vision Plan (SVP), Strategic Management Plan, and activated the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and National Digital Economy Plan and Strategy (NDEPS) respectively.

RELATED: NCC’s Policy Engagement With Stakeholders For Quality Consumer Experience, Says Danbatta

“These plans were supported and facilitated by the immense contributions of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami,” he said.

According to Danbatta, Prof. Pantami has been “a driver and facilitator of all the initiatives of the Commission and his leadership of the telecoms sector has been an invaluable ingredient in all the attainments of the last two years.”

Formulating Nigeria 5G Deployment Policy

Referencing the Commission’s international engagements, Danbatta disclosed the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC -19) witnessed the hamonised Frequency Spectrum bands, which were allocated for the deployment of 5G technology in countries across the world.

He also stressed that the allocations at the international level gave birth to approval granted for 5G technology trial in Nigeria November 2019.

RELATED: Nigeria Set For Deployment Of 5G Networks 2022, Says Minister

The EVC/CEO also noted following the favourable outcome, the approval of Nigeria 5G Deployment Policy was equally granted by the Federal Government September 8, 2021.

“Therefore, in line with the 5G Deployment Policy and global best practices, the Commission has set in motion the process for the auction and will be offering two (2) lots in the 3.5GHz band with three (3) companies competing to acquire a licence for the available lots,” Danbatta stated in his address at the spectrum band auction in Abuja.

High-speed Broadband Internet connectivity

He added: “The auction is based on the powers bestowed on the Commission by Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 as well as the Licensing Regulations 2019.”

5G Deployment key to growth of national digital economy ─Adeolu Akande

In his speech presented at the 3.5Ghz spectrum auction event Monday, Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, also emphasised that the main objective of the landmark auction is not just the offer of a premium frequency, but to support the deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria.

The NCC Board Chairman pined that the deployment of 5G networks has been identified as a critical factor for the growth of the national digital economy.

RELATED: Nigerian Government Tasks NCC On Speedy, Effective Implementation Of 5G Technology

Akande further stated: “The full socio-economic benefits of 5G technology are largely dependent on access to a variety of spectrum resources.

“Consequently, spectrum plays a strategic role in meeting the insatiable demand for advanced mobile data services as well as a new wave of wireless broadband use cases.”

He identified such case uses as remote object manipulation, industrial automation, virtual and augmented reality as well as next-generation connectivity for vehicles.

“These use cases will continue to increase the impact that mobile services have on societies and economies.

Akande als said the impact of 5G technology on the economy of nations is unprecedented, and according to 2020 global edition of the GSMA’s flagship ‘Mobile Economy Report, 5G is forecasted to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034.

In terms of other impactful contributions of the new technology, he noted 5G networks would drive key industries, such as manutacturing, utilities, professional and financial services.

“In fact several other fringe sectors will benefit immensely from the new technology. The importance of 5G technology to economy of Nations cannot be overemphasized,” the NCC Board Chairman said.

Akande described Monday’s auction event as “a memorable milestone that Nigeria is set to auction spectrum in the 3.5GHz for the deployment of 5G at this material time.

He also said that in NCC, “we are committed to transparency and openness, which this auction represents.”

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