Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC (Inset) and 5G Networks

Special Focus: Maximising 5G Network services in Nigeria’s digital ecosystem

*The Nigerian Communications Commission activates the deployment of 5G technology, as the West African country joins the global community to advance digital services and enhance quality communications infrastructure for the benefit of telecoms consumers and the national economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria has joined the league of over 60 countries already deploying the Fifth Generation (5G) technology for improved quality of life of millions of telecoms consumers in the digital ecosystem.

Subsequently, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), in regard to its mandate, has positioned the country to maximise the benefits of the Broadband infrastructure in the telecoms space.

Diverse benefits of 5G technology 

The NCC, from December 2021 to December 2022, had planned and performed two-phase successful auctions of the 3.5GHz Spectrum band, the efforts which resulted in the Commission’s licensing of MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communications Limited, and recently, Airtel Networks Limited as the sole bidder for the second spectrum auction conducted December last year.

READ ALSO: NCC Resumes ‘Telecom Weekly’ TV Programme For Enhanced Stakeholder Engagement

Both MTN and Mafab Communications had won the first two 5G Spectrum licences in line with the Information Memorandum (IM) of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction that the Commission earlier conducted December 13, 2021, in Abuja, FCT.

Whereas the MTN has already activated the technology via the provision of 5G services to its consumers as of August 24, 2022, in selected cities across Nigeria, Mafab Communications and Airtel are equally set for nationwide deployment of similar services any time soon, according to report.

READ ALSO: MTN, Mafab Pay For 3.5GHz Spectrum Licences For 5G Deployment ─NCC

Recall that Airtel Networks paid the NCC $316.7million for 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3500MHz band for the deployment of 5G networks, and 2x5MHz of 2600MHz to boost its existing 4G network coverage in the country.

Nigeria is a market with enormous potential for growth: Airtel CEO

The telecoms firm disclosed this in an announcement on the Nigerian Exchange, titled, ‘Nigeria 4G and 5G Spectrum Acquisition’.

Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel, said, “Nigeria is a market with enormous potential for future growth in mobile services.

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“Investment in new technologies and local infrastructure to enable this growth is a strategic priority for the Group and will ensure we are able to provide reliable and affordable services to local communities” across Nigeria.

Incidentally, Bharti Airtel, a leading telecoms operator in India, has continued to prove its competencies in 5G technology deployment, as the Telco recently reached 25 cities with 5G Plus networks in the foreign country.

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

In respect of the inherent  benefits of the 5G Network services to Nigerian telecoms consumers, the regulatory Commission, at every forum, also has explained that the overriding consideration for the deployment of 5G services in the West African country is for attainment of improved, better life for consumers as well as growth of national economy with qualitative high-speed Internet services.

NCC committed to advancement of digital services, quality infrastructure: Danbatta

ConsumerConnect had reported that Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, November 2022, restated the Commission’s committed efforts at the timely auctions of available 3.5GHz spectrum band for deployment of 5G services across the Nigerian telecoms ecosystem.

READ ALSO Digital Economy: Buhari Applauds 5G Spectrum Auctions, Restates Commitment To Expanding ICT Infrastructure

Danbatta, at a forum in Lagos, disclosed the efforts are primarily driven by the pursuit to join the rest of the global community to advance digital services and enhance quality communications infrastructure for the benefit of the consumers, and not by the need to attract revenue for the Federal Government.

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Meanwhile, in a deliberate move to get the best of the new-fangled 5G technology in the country’s telecoms ecosystem, it is germane to note that the NCC had substantially employed stakeholder engagement to deliberate on the auctions draft document, with meaningful contributions from stakeholders to enrich the quality of the document for auction process conducted  2021 and 2022 respectively.

This, the Commission stated, was being done with a view to achieving the efficient management and utilisation of this significant spectrum resource in Nigeria in line with global best practices.

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