NCC, NIGCOMSAT sign MoU for easy deployment of 5G in Nigeria
May 5, 2021
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on clearing of C-band for deployment of 5G services in the country.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja during the signing.
He said that all the issues associated with the safety of the technology had been adequately addressed in the country while awaiting the Federal Government’s final decision on the deployment of the 5th Generation (5G) mobile network.
He noted that the event “will facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable Frequency Spectrum band(s) for early deployment of fifth Generation Network (5G) services in the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa”.
“The Commission initiated negotiation with NIGCOMSAT whom in our estimate could make some adjustment to its satellite operation and release part of its Spectrum holding in the band to facilitate the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.”
“First of all, issues associated with the safety of this technology have been adequately addressed. Nigerians have been sensitised on the safety of this technology with regards to health the security dimension”.
“We have gone to the government and very soon they will come up with a statement on the date for the deployment of 5G services because the policy is equally ready.
“So the information of the state of readiness as we can see is satisfactory. We have the policy, we have the resource for the deployment of 5G services in the country.
“We have mobile network operators that are willing to bid for the available spectrum that will be used for the deployment of this subs to Nigerians. So our state of readiness is really high indeed,” he said.
The EVC noted that the 5G, would build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.
“We are glad that the Management of NigComSat and NCC have taken a bold step in the right direction to release contagious quantum of Spectrum in the 3.5GHz band for early deployment of 5G.
Danbatta, however, said that the 3.4 GHz -3.9GHz are the best frequency allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
He said that the C-band was most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70 per cent of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band.
According to him, amongst the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.
The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there,
While leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz–9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.
The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum.”
“For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator.
“However in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites”.
“It is my belief that the impact of this decision knows no bounds and will not only strengthen the relationship between both agencies but would also go a long way in making positive impact on the Nigerian economy”.
The Chairman Board of Commissioners, NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande however, commended the efforts of Prof. Danbatta and his counterpart the Managing Director(MD) of NigComSat Ms. Abimbola Alale for taking an informed decision in national interest which will consequently foster the deployment of 5G and enable Nigeria tap its full potential.