L- R: Engr. Abubakar Ladan Abdullahi, Director of National Frequency Council (NFMC); Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy and Chairman of NFMC; and Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, NCC Board of Commissioners at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, FCT Photo: NCC

5G Deployment: NCC officially receives 3.5GHz spectrum allocation from Federal Government

*The Federal Government has presented the 3.5GHz spectrum allocation to the Nigerian Communications Commission for the deployment of 5G technology, as the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy and other stakeholders applaud the transparent spectrum auction held December 2021

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has officially handed over the spectrum allocation to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) networks in the West African country.

ConsumerConnect reports the country’s telecoms sector regulatory Commission said the handing over of the document occurred Thursday, February 17, barely a week to the NCC’s deadline for payment of the spectrum fees by the two winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction held December 2021.

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs of NCC, Friday, February 18, 2022, stated Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, and Chairman, National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), presented the official document on the 3.5GHz spectrum allocation to the Commission at a public event, held Thursday at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, FCT.

The NCC noted Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, NCC Board of Commissioners, and Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), received the 5G spectrum allocation document on behalf of the Commission.

READ ALSO Digital Economy: Nigeria Planning Widest 5G Deployment In Africa 2022 ─Pantami

Speaking at the event, which also witnessed the public presentation of the National Policy on 5G Networks, a document   President Muhammadu Buhari earlier launched January 25, 2022, Prof. Pantami commended the NCC leadership for ‘a transparent, fair and credible 3.5GHz spectrum auction’ conducted December 13, 2021.

The Minister stated that the NFMC has the responsibility for managing the allocation of commercial and non-commercial spectrum resources while the NCC is facilitating the deployment of spectrum in the country.

RELATED 5G Networks: NCC Announces MTN, Mafab Communications Winners Of 2 Slots In 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction

The Council, he noted, decided to allocate the assigned spectrum for 5G networks to the NCC to enable the Commission to assign same to the winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction.

Benefits of 5G technology

According to Pantami, the 5G networks, when deployed, will bring a lot of benefits and opportunities that will engender accelerated growth and smart living in the country. The technology will bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities, said the Minister.

A cross-section of dignitaries at the event in Abuja

Earlier in his remarks, Prof. Akande appreciated the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy for his efforts at ensuring that every clog that could hinder successful deployment of 5G services is addressed.

READ ALSO: 5G Networks Safe, Beneficial For Socio-Economic Transformation ─NCC

This will pave the way for mutual understanding and trust among all stakeholders to ensure that the derivable benefits of the new technology are harnessed timely for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

The NCC Board Chairman also said that effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G, which the Commission is driving, will help in the actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-2030, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance the country’s digital culture.

5G Networks will herald greater socioeconomic transformation ─Danbatta

Prof. Danbatta, while expressing appreciation to the Minister and all stakeholders for the role played in the emerging 5G networks policy implementation initiatives, said the collective efforts of the private sector and government support would make deployment of 5G networks to transform every aspect of the country’s economy.

RELATED: Danbatta Restates NCC’s Commitment To Broadband, Consumer Protection, Digital Economy

The NCC EVC/CEO as well expressed optimism, that the expected transformation will be greater than what Nigeria has witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G respectively.

Recalling the diligence that attended the implementation of 5G policy by the NCC since the process started in 2019, Danbatta said Nigeria had taken proactive and meticulous steps to be among the leading players in the global digital economy.

He stated: “We have been meticulous all the way in our 5G deployment journey, from trial across selected states in the country, to review and stakeholder engagement, to approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), to the 3.5GHz spectrum auction, and up to the official launch of the national policy on 5G network by the President.

RELATED: 5G Deployment In Nigeria Is In Line With Global Innovation Curve ─Buhari

“Now we have the official allocation of the spectrum to the NCC for onward assignments to the winners.”

Danbatta further said: “So, the coast is clear for the country to assign the specific reference in the spectrum to the winners, upon announcement of payments.”

Industry stakeholders, dignitaries commend NCC on accountability

Meanwhile, the NCC has said eminent stakeholders and dignitaries at the  event Thursday commended Danbatta for ensuring sterling record of transparency and accountability in the sale of the 3.5GHz Spectrum Band allocated for deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria.

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

The Commission noted the stakeholders include Mr. Bitrus Nabasu, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital economy; Engr. Shola Taylor, former Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO); Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); Prof. Muhammed Abubakar, Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone Plc; and Dr. Aliyu Aziz, Director-General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), among others.

Earlier in a presentation on the Benefits of 5G, Engr. Taylor, declared that 5G would have far-reaching transformational impact on major sectors of the Nigerian economy

The 5G networks will bring about rapid social-economic development of the country, said he.

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