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Nigeria unveils spectrum frequencies for 5G licensing

Nigeria , 30 Sep 2019

Nigeria unveils spectrum frequencies for 5G licensing

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed it has reserved 26Ghz, 38Ghz and 42Ghz spectrum frequencies for 5G mobile broadband licensing.

NCC's executive vice chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta said the three spectrums will be licensed as soon as the standardisation process is completed at the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference to be hosted in Egypt from 28 October to 22 November 2019.

In August 2019, ITWeb Africa reported that telecom regulators in Nigeria were keeping largely silent regarding their 5G plans.

Danbatta suggested this could be because of the involvement of security specialists who have to approve the technology before it can be cleared for rollout.

"We want to ensure they are fully involved at this trial state for the purpose of advising on the elements of the security concerns we should accommodate in the regulatory frameworks that will guide the deployment of this service if it eventually becomes commercialised," he said.

Danbatta added:"Because of the practice we've had in the past, every service we deploy is normally preceded by proof of concept trial. And the 5G is not an exception. Definitely, there's going to be the trial as preparations are underway for this important trial to take place."

According to Danbatta, the results of the tests will enable the regulator and operators to identify various challenges to 5G rollout in Nigeria.

"Security challenges, levels of radiation power density, whether this is within the acceptable limits provided by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), as well as to ensure whatever factors that we need to come to terms with preparatory to commercial deployment of services are identified in readiness for commercial rollout of services using 5G," he continued.

The NCC executive said that while countries in Africa are sharing information and experiences regarding 5G trials, there is uncertainty over the capacity of every country to be ready for 5G rollout by 2020.

"Whether all African countries will be ready by 2020 for the roll out of commercial 5G services is something I cannot answer immediately, but I know our state of readiness is such that spectrum is being reserved in many countries, there are trials going on in many African countries."

Without pervasive infrastructure, he said the dream of 5G services will remain just a dream.

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