5G Networks: NCC issues final Letters of Licence Awards to MTN, Mafab Communications

*The Nigerian Communications Commission discloses the two 3.5GHz Spectrum licensees, in line with the Auction’s Information Memorandum, are expected to commence roll out of 5G services, effective from August 24, 2022, in the West African country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed issuance of the final letters of award of the Fifth Generation (5G) Spectrum Licences to MTN and Mafab Communications Limited, winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction the Commission conducted Monday, December 13, 2021, in Abuja, FCT.

ConsumerConnect reports the Management of the Commission, led by Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, had affirmed this development to the Board of Commissioners at the Board’s Special Meeting, held Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Telecoms consumer and benefits of 5G Technology concept

Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, in a statement issued Wednesday, May 4 noted that the Commission’s Board considered updates from Management on the status of the spectrum auction in the country.

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

Adinde also stated that with the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrum, and in line with the Auction’s Information Memorandum (IM), the two licensees are now expected to accelerate deployment of 5G network that will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and more digitised economy.

The NCC said: “In line with the terms and conditions of the 5G licence, the licensees are expected to commence roll out 5G services effective from August 24, 2022.

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

RELATED: How Nigeria Approves National Policy On 5G Networks For Digital Economy ─Minister

The country’s telecoms sector regulator asserted that the 5G technology is expected to bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.

The statement further noted: “Following a transparent, diligent, fair and credible auction of 3.5GHz on December 13, 2021, the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, had on February 22, 2022, officially handed over the spectrum allocation for 5G deployment as well as Federal Government-approved National Policy on 5G to the Commission.

“Subsequently, the Commission, on February 24, 2022, confirmed the full payment of $273.6 million each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, for the 5G spectrum licence.”

READ ALSO 5G Deployment: NCC Officially Receives 3.5GHz Spectrum Allocation From Federal Government

The NCC Director of Public Affairs also stated the Regulatory Commission is optimistic that effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G networks would accelerate  actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.

“While the licensees are expected to meet the timetable regarding their 5G networks rollout obligations, the NCC requires collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G, which will herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G,” noted the regulator.

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