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As the “5G is gaining global attention and to have a meaningful live, experience growth in the new digital economy and for a having a smart nation,

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country. The Commission has also concluded negotiations on the counterpart funding to the Infrastructure Companies.

The country has earmarked three spectrum bands 26 GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz bands for trial in Lagos and other parts of the country.

This will support the deployment of the broadband infrastructure on which the smart services and other emerging technologies will be hosted, according to the Nigerian telecom industry regulator.

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Nigerian Communications Commission Overview

Executive Director of the commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta said “In the world we live today, mobile communication is a cardinal tool of economic development, growth and integration, and the mobile industry is a key enabler of productivity across economies and societies.

“The mobile industry is not only a significant contributor to the economic activities of Nigeria, but also towards the growth of other sectors of the economy. The Nigerian Communications Commission has been, and continues to play a key role in the development of mobile communication in Nigeria, and I am delighted to be part of this event today. This provides and avenue for regulators, operators, investors, and other relevant stakeholders to examine, share and constructively exchange ideas.”

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Prof. Umar Dambatta disclosed at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, yesterday, that with the enlisting of leading mobile operator into the Stock Exchange, other operators, including Bharti Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile were getting set to join the fray.

He said NCC, apart from holding a stakeholders’ forum to come up with a roadmap on 5G, the commission had opened consultations on spectrum for drones and was proactively leading discussions on the deployment of new technologies.

He said: “NCC did not just sit back. Apart from constantly engaging with state governors through NEC of Nigeria Governors Forum, we have also stepped in directly by licensing InfraCos to provide fibre bandwidth on an open access bases.

We are providing them subsidy to mitigate their costs. “We expect this to start bearing fruit shortly, but the major thing is the support of the state governors. That is critical. Nigeria is a federation of 36 states; we cannot dictate what to charge for RoW to them, we can only persuade them and hope they see the superior merit and long-term benefits of making their states receptive to telecoms infrastructure.”

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The NCC framework, he said, had led to the licensing of six infrastructure companies (Infracos) for North East, North West, South East, South West, South-South and Lagos. The process for licensing a seventh infraco for the North Central including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had been concluded and the licence ready for award very soon, he revealed.

The infracos will deploy metro and intercity fibre and broadband point of access with a minimum capacity of 10 gigabyte per second (10 Gbps) across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria, he added.

“With the development of Smart Cities Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by the ITU, it is imperative to have a pervasive and ubiquitous broadband infrastructure across all our towns and cities to achieve the objectives of making them Smart,” Danbatta said.

Prof. Danbatta told the experts with excitement that “Nigeria has not only achieved but exceeded the 30% penetration target set by the National Broadband Plan (NBP) (2013 – 2018) and at the end of June 2019, our broadband penetration stood at 33.31%’’.

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The Role of 5G in Nigeria’s Connectivity

Although the country is still struggling with the adoption and coverage of 4G, the fifth-generation network guarantees high-speed, reliable and robust network. It is aid activities in Nigeria’s multi-billion-dollar burgeoning digital economy. The industry is expected to generate $88 billion and create up to three million jobs in the next three years, according to a government official.

Expert in the firld stated that “this particular event is really critical for Africa to be part of the contribution to the development of standards that will help the region generally.

“Standardisation of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IOT), smart cities and communities, e-waste and circular economy and electromagnetic radiation are very important to the African continent,” she said. (NAN).

Finally, with the introduction of the 5G network telecom operators in Nigeria will need to further upgrade their networks to multi-standard 5G-ready infrastructure.

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