It is another win for the licencing and deployment of the fifth generation (5G) technology in Nigeria, as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has directed that processes should be accelerated to ensure Nigeria benefits accruable from the technological advancement.
Rising from its meeting on Wednesday, the nation’s decision making body approved the deployment of 5G in Nigeria following the presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
According a statement signed by the Technical Assistant on Information Technology to the Minister, Dr Femi Adeluyi, implementation of the National Policy on 5G is with immediate effect.
The National Policy has been developed over a period of 2 years, due to the need for extensive stakeholder engagement and the need to ensure adequate public awareness and sensitization.
The stakeholder engagement was thorough and multi-sectoral in nature. It also took into account the report of the 3-month 5G trials that commenced on the 25th of November 2019.
The report critically reviewed and studied the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.
Leading international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an organ of the United Nations, have confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks leave no adverse health effect and are safe.
Experts say 5G networks offer significant advantages over the current technologies.
Some of its advantages include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater device density, longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility. Several countries have already commenced the deployment of 5G and are enjoying its benefits. These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Lesotho, to mention but a few.
The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by Minister Pantami, said it will soon release spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that meet all the required conditions.
The NCC, the regulator of the telecommunications sector, has promised to continue to engaging stakeholders with a view to developing the regulatory instruments required for the successful deployment of the technology in Nigeria.
Following the directive issued by the federal government to the nation’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission (NCC) to expedite action on the deployment of the fifth generation (5G) technology in Nigeria, the Commission has assured of its readiness for the task ahead.
He however noted that the Commission will need additional spectrum from the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), and auction approval from the federal government to ensure a very robust and accelerated deployment.
In his words: “On the 5G, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has spoken about the Federal Government’s position to deploy as soon as possible. Our state of readiness is very high. There’s an auction committee for 5G with a deployment plan ready. As you know, without a plan you cannot have a successful deployment.
Following the Senate investigative hearing which gave the Fifth Generation (5G) technology a clean bill of health, theNCC took a major proactive regulatory step by inaugurating a committee to develop the Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band which will be used for early deployment of 5G services in the country. It also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) to release some spectrum that will be more beneficial for 5G services.