The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country. The Commission has also concluded negotiations on the counterpart funding to the Infrastructure Companies.
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.
NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed these during the opening session of the First Digital Africa Week organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and hosted by the Nigerian telecom industry regulator, in Abuja yesterday. ‘’The NCC will continue to drive and implement policies, projects and programmes aimed at facilitating digital revolution and digital inclusion in Nigeria.
In this regards, we have approved spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country’’, Prof Danbatta said. He said the NCC had set up a Broadband Implementation Monitoring Committee (BIMC) to monitor full implementation of the Infrastructure Companies project within the four-year implementation plan. This is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for the provision of ubiquitous broadband infrastructure across the country.
Conscious of the pivotal role pervasive broadband penetration will play in actualizing deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices ad Smart Services in any economy, Prof Danbatta said the NCC had developed a framework to facilitate the deployment of broadband infrastructure across Nigeria. 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%’’. The 1st Digital African Week is running in Abuja side by side with ITU-T Study Group 20 and Study Group 5 Regional Group, and Smart Sustainable Africa and Forum on Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). The Conference ends on Friday.