The Federal Government has announced it is going ahead with arrangements for deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in the telecommunications industry.
The government allayed fears and concerns on health and security implications over deployment of 5G, asserting Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.
It added the resources and revenues to be earned from the deployment are so huge they cannot be ignored.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, announced these at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NCC and the Nigerian Communications Satellite limited (NigComSat) at the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja.
The MoU between the two agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy would lay the foundations for acquisition of Frequency Spectrum suitable for the deployment of the technology in the country.
Danbatta said the NigComSat, it was discovered after investigation across the globe, had the appropriate technology to facilitate the deployment.
Danbatta said: “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 C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70% of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band, thus the importance of this Spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.
“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.
“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.
“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 – 3.9GHz) 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.
Managing Director of NigComSat, Dr Abimbola Alale, lauded the committees set by the two agencies for doing a thorough job in the larger interest of the country.
She said the MoU would change the narratives of digital and telecommunications industry in the country.
Chairman of the NCC board, Prof Adeolu Akande the time has come for the country to key into adoption and deployment of 5G technology.
“In recent times, precisely from the last quarter of 2019, several administrations have begun to license Spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G.
” As we speak today, 5G services have already been deployed in United States of America, South Korea, United Kingdom, China, South Africa, Kenya and many more”, Akande said.
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According to him, telecommunication evolution has led to improvement in user experience witnessed from 2G, 3G and later 4G.