The Nigerian Communications Commission, an independent regulatory body for the Nigerian telecommunications space has signified its readiness to roll out the fifth-generation technology to Nigerians. The commission emphasized its 97% readiness to take on 5G deployment.
As a result of the pandemic which paralyzed the nation’s resources, there has been an unprecedented upsurge in internet traffic. The introduction of remote work, virtual meetings, virtual studies, and virtual healthcare delivery, among others, have given rise to the use of a plethora of web applications as we transitioned into new normal. This has therefore created a significant need for the increase and upgrade of the country’s network connectivity.
At this year’s edition of the African, Tech Alliance Forum themed: “Embracing Changes and Digital Transformation in the New Normal” hand eld in the city of Lagos last week, NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, represented by the Director of Spectrum Administration, Oluwatoyin Asaju, stated that “The NCC’s plan for 5G technology deployment in the country continues to gather momentum with the Commission confirming that its readiness to begin full implementation is at 97 percent.”
Asaju revealed that NCC has been busy fine-tuning plans to implement initiatives that have to do with the network expansion. Asaju further revealed that currently there are plans to auction spectrum in 3.5 GHz band to interested operators for the deployment of 5G network to take effect in Nigeria.
Asaju said, “Consistent with our mandate as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and other guiding legislations, we have been working to ensure the penetration of broadband services in line with Federal Government’s targets, as contained in Nigerian National Broadband Plan, 2020 to 2025.” He added that “Already, we are set for the auction of some spectrum slots in the 3.5GHz band. The other day I was at the National assembly, I informed the Senate that we were 95 percent ready for 5G. Today as we speak, I am delighted to tell you that we are already at 97 percent completion.”
Asaju disclosed that an Information Memorandum has been circulated, while comments are expected from key industry stakeholders, He believes the publication will aid plans towards the spectrum auction for 5G deployment. Asaju stated that “The committee set up to auction the Spectrum has already developed an IM, which is already published for inputs and comments from all industry stakeholders. Prior to this, a 5G deployment plan was developed and we have since secured Federal Government’s approval,”
The NCC boss was also represented at the event by the commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde.