Nigeria eager to spend on 5G
Nigeria has set aside US$500,000 for continued research and development in order to drive innovation within its telecommunications industry.
The focus is on preparation for 5G deployment said Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
“We are emphasising enhanced broadband both in the wholesale and retail segments; we will also continue to sensitise people about the usefulness of 5G; and we will continue with existing collaborations with sub-regional, continental and global partners to ensure we deploy 5G with effectiveness.”
Last year Nigeria completed 5G testing and despite conspiracy theories and concern over safety, the country managed to safeguard its interests in the technology.
Operators are optimistic and in September this year Mohammed Rufai, MTN Nigeria’s CTO, said: “We are excited about the opportunities that 5G represents, and eager to participate in the licensing process. The speed and latency that 5G technology avails users is very impressive, and opens up a wealth of possibilities to leverage the Internet of Things and digital services in general.”
Danbatta said the priority now is to fully prepare to facilitate 5G infrastructure and collaborate with the right partners.
He added that readiness for 5G deployment requires dedicated follow up on the industry trends on the recently harmonised spectrum from World Radio Conference -19; clearing of relevant spectrum bands identified for 5G ( for instance the 3.5GHz); identified spectrum for 5G in line with global trends; development of 5G deployment plan.
Danbatta said there is a draft Information Memorandum for the 3.5GHz auction in place.
He said: “Other constitutive initiatives of NCC includes licensing of Infrastructure Companies (INFRACOs) to deploy Metro and Intercity fibre with at least one point of presence in each of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, as well as opening up of microwave and millimetre wave, for instance, the 60GHz V-band, 70/80GHz E-band, 38GHz, and 42GHz, among others.”