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Nigeria’s Frequency Management Council issues 5G Allocation to NCC for deployment, keeping faith with February 27 rollout date

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, yesterday received the Spectrum Allocation, as Nigeria sets to deploy the 5G technology.

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, yesterday received the Spectrum Allocation, as Nigeria sets to deploy the 5G technology.

Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s minister of Communications and Digital Economy who doubles as the Chairman of the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), performed the official handover to the NCC, at a workshop on the National Policy on 5G Networks and handover of Spectrum Allocation for deployment, in Abuja.

Deriving from this flag off, the NCC is expected to go ahead with the licensing of the winners of the 5G spectrum, and formally announce the the update of payments for 5G license in Nigeria. February 27, 2022, is the determined date for this announcement.

On December 13, 2021, the NCC had in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, successfully auctioned two slots in the 3.5GHz spectrum band (5G license) to MTN Nigeria Plc and Mafab Communications Limited, at a bid price of $273.6 million for each operator.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the winners were expected to make payment for the spectrum license, on or before February 24, 2022, to enable them roll out the 5G network across the country.

Prior to the spectrum auction in December last year, NIGCOMSAT – the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited – was occupying five slots in the 3.5GHz spectrum, but vacated two slots, which were handed over to the National Frequency Management Council, chaired by the Minister.

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While advising state governments on the challenge of rights-of-way to operators, Pantami said, “The issue of right of way becomes a challenge from time to time. The government has addressed the issue more than ninety per cent but from time to time issues may come. I do hope that they will understand the economic benefit. The security benefits and many more of these technological advancement.

“It is beyond right of way charges. It goes beyond that. So let us try to make the process very easy for operators so that they will be able to deploy 5G.”

Pantami continued: “5G will allow for real time high quality and data intensive surveillance of relevant areas using high definition cameras.
“Emerging technologies like Blockchain can significantly improve transparency to the delivery of government services at all levels.

“The World Economic Forum attests to the potential of Blockchain to increase the efficiency and fairness of government system and by extension limit opportunities for corruption.

It can significantly improve transparency in procurement procedures enhance land and registry system, ensure that government documents are not accessed by unauthorized personnel,” he concluded.

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