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NCC Ready For Auction Of 5G Spectrum To MNOs

… Prepares Implementation Guidelines

It is expected that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will soon receive implementation guidelines in preparation for the auction of the fifth generation (5G) licences in the country.

This assurance is contained in a statement from the nation’s telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  as it formally announces the approval for deployment of the 5G Network in Nigeria by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

In the statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the Commission noted that the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami having announced the approval after the FEC meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, has paved the way for the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) to release Spectrum for allocation to MNOs.

“The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, will, in no distant time, release the 5G Spectrum to the NCC for auction to MNOs that will need the spectrum for 5G deployment”, the statement noted.

Following the approval, the Minister has directed the NCC to commence immediate implementation of the 5G plan for the country. The roll-out of the 5G will be carried out in phases beginning with major cities in the country “where there is need for high quality broadband,” the Honourable Minister had said.

 The NCC said it will publish an implementation roadmap for the deployment across the country with service roll-out obligations. In addition, the Commission has been directed to commence the development of relevant regulatory instruments to address issues related to health, safety and others to drive effective implementation of the roll-out of 5G by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The approval of the 5G Plan by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari and the FEC is a major boost to Nigeria’s promising 5G Plan, which has the objectives of ensuring efficient assignment of spectrum for 5G deployment, creating an enabling environment for investment in the telecom industry, ensuring effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban cities by 2025, among others.

The approval follows the decision and subsequent directive by the nation’s legislative arm that the NCC can go ahead with deployment of 5G in the country.

According to the statement: “In line with the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a Digital Nigeria, and the positioning of Nigeria as an early adopter of digital technology in the growing global digital economy, the successful and timely deployment of 5G is crucial. 5G is expected to facilitate several emerging technologies, generate innovative use cases, spur significant socio-economic growth and create jobs.”

The Minister appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, the entire FEC members, the National Assembly, as well as other industry stakeholders for their roles and contributions in the journey that culminated in the approval of the 5G implementation for the country.

 It would be recalled that the perceived health impact and sundry issues surrounding 5G services in the country took the front burner last year, until health and technology experts doused the unwarranted fears expressed by a section of the local and global population. The NCC also was at the forefront of education the public of the need and benefits of the technology to the socio-economic growth of the nation.

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