‘Nigeria is 97% ready for full implementation of 5G plan’- Danbatta

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta has said the commission is almost fully ready to deploy 5G network in the country.
The Vice Chairman said this in the course of his presentation in Lagos on Thursday during the annual African Tech Alliance Forum (AFRITECH) 2021. The title of his presentation was “NCC as a Digital Transformation Crusader and Nigeria’s in-Road to 5G Deployment”

Danbatta, represented by NCC’s Director of Spectrum Administration, Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, stated that the pandemic caused a lot of activities to shift online and so there was a need to boost network capacity. He added that the readiness of the regulatory authority for 5G network had gone up to 97%.

“Already, we are set for the auction some spectrum slots in 3.5GHz band. The other day I was at the National assembly, I informed the senate that we were 95 per cent ready for 5G. Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 per cent completion”.

Professor Umar Danbatta, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission
L-R:  Mr. Tony Ojobo, President, African ICT Foundation; Mr. Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON); Olatomiwa Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria; Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju,  Director, Spectrum Administration, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr. Femi Williams, CEO NewWaves Ecosystem Ltd; Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC; Mr. Aaron Ukodie, Publisher eWorld Magazine, during the Annual Tech Alliance Forum

Journey so far

The Federal government approved the  deployment of the Fifth Generation Network, otherwise called 5G in Nigeria last month. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, upon the approval, directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to commence immediate implementation of the 5G plan.

“The Committee set up to auction the Spectrum has already developed and Information Memorandum (IM) which is already published for inputs and comments from all industry stakeholders.

The Information Memorandum (IM) defines the process that the Commission has decided to adopt for the auctioning of the 3.5GHz spectrum band. It will provide information on the Nigerian telecommunications market, details of the Spectrum to be made available, the pre-qualification process, the Auction process and an indicative timetable.

Moving forward

During the presentation, it was added that the surge in Internet traffic induced by Covid-19 has continued to challenge National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and other arms of governments to ensure deployment of adequate resources such as spectrum and other forms of support to increase network resilience and accessibility to telecommunication services.

Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta
Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

The NCC further assured Nigerians of its commitment to promoting change and enhancement of user experience in the telecomunications industry.

“Emerging technologies such as 5G, which NCC is driving aggressively in Nigeria, Internet of Things (IoT); Cloud Computing; Quantum Computing Augmented/Virtual Reality, and similar emerging technologies are playing a critical role in improving remote communication over the internet with great user experience. The NCC is committed to promoting this inevitable change and enhance user experience through effective regulation of the telecoms sector.”

5G is expected to facilitate several emerging technologies, generate innovative use cases, spur significant socio-economic growth and create jobs.

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