Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it is hopeful that 5G services will be available by the fourth quarter of this year in the country.
Usman Aliyu, Head, Spectrum Administration, NCC, disclosed this while speaking on 5G deployment at a capacity building workshop organized for ICT journalist by the Commission in Abuja.
He said cleaning of the Bands is ongoing with the migration of the FSS users from 3.4-3.8 GHz spectrum following the ratification of the use of Nigerian Communications Satellite by the National Frequency Management Council.
When deployed, he said a lot of services would be enhanced with resultant effect on the economic growth of the nation in the areas of education, health, financial services and improvement on the quality of service.
With the successful auction of the 5G spectrum last year, Aliyu said Nigeria became the first country in Africa to successfully conduct a full 5G spectrum auction without the services of a consultant and first software auction to be conducted since 2001.
‘‘5G auction committee was constituted, Information memorandum was developed, consultation on Memorandum carried out, key stakeholders responded, corrections were made on IM before auction.
Five options were made ad two were made available. Hopefully by Q4 this year we should have 5G services in the country. The current status involves inflation and increase in exchange rate that affects cost of services; quality and adequate power supply, relocating of services, guard band provision, coordination with neighboring countries,’’ he said.
Recall that the 5G Spectrum auction of 3.45 GHz spectrum was conducted in late 2021 went through 11 rounds exceed the revenue projection from the reserve price of $199,374,000.
The auction process came to an end when MTN and Mafab posted an exit bid of $273 million, while Airtel posted a final bid of $270 million.
The auction generated proceeds of $22.5 billion in total.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, director of Public Affairs of NCC, reiterated its commitment to maintaining the age-long tradition of mutually beneficial relationship with the media.
He said that the meeting, in a sense, amplifies a continuation age-long tradition of maintaining strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the media as partners of the Commission and appreciated the contributions of the media to visibility of the Commission as well as the development of the Nigerian telecom sector.
The DPA said that ‘‘the NCC recognizes the importance of NITRA as a strategic ally, adding that this accounts for why the Commission has on several occasions provided capacity building and training for members of NITRA with the aim of providing the platform for equipping NITRA as its stakeholders and partners from the Media with the knowledge and skill required to do their jobs effectively, efficiently and in the most professional manner.’’
“As you may be aware, the communications sector, which the NCC regulates, is arguably the most dynamic and vibrant sector of the Nigerian economy, and we believe this demands that our media partners are brought up to speed with recent developments for enhanced and well-informed reportage of the industry,” the DPA said.
“Thus, the need for your sustained support as we continue to discharge our mandate of regulating this dynamic sector for the benefit of Nigerians and the economy cannot be over-emphasized.
“The implication of this meeting, therefore, is to further impress on your consciousness that the fate of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, especially in the media will continue to be squarely entrusted to your good and capable hands.’’
“I want to use this opportunity to call on NITRA and all its members to remain supportive of NCC’s programmes, activities and initiatives. We urge you to continue to demonstrate the enthusiasm and professionalism which have informed adequate and factual reportage by your members over the years.
“On our part, we will continue to work with members of your association to accomplish your goals and objectives which have defined our shared interests in building the telecom sector for the greater good of Nigeria.
“The National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the New National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the NCC Strategic Management Plan (2020-2024), creation of the Digital Economy Department, as well as the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecommunications Sector (NODITS) all underscore the policy directions of the Federal Government which the NCC is expected to drive aggressively working with our supervising ministry and other relevant industry stakeholders to extend the frontiers of digital economy for Nigerians. It is expected that you will play a critical role in putting in public domain the achievement of the NCC in this respect.’’
He further reiterated the Commission’s resolve in ensuring that Nigerians and all those living in Nigeria are carried along on the Commission’s journey to build Nigeria’s digital economy of our dream, and the Media are critical Stakeholders.
In his own remarks, Mr. Blessing Olaifa, president of NITRA, Abuja Chapter, represented by Mr. Emmanuel Elebeke, chapter’s secretary, expressed the organisation’s profound appreciation to NCC for organising the capacity building programme for NITRA members.
He noted that the relationship between the Commission and the media organization has been a very cordial one spanning over many years, adding that it was a thing of joy that the age long mutually beneficial relationship has been sustained by the current management.
“I want to commend you for your consistency in churning out progressive policies and regulations that have positioned NCC as a pace setter in Africa.
“Fresh in our mind is recent 5G spectrum auction won by MTN and Mafab Communications which has been receiving accolades even from international community.
“Nigeria today boasts of 6 submarine cables with more to come courtesy of NCC’s visionary management and quality regulation.”
The group then appealed to the Commission to institute ICT award to encourage journalist to work harder and improve their reportage.
NITRA promised to keep faith with the Commission, in ensuring quality reportage in a professional manner for the greater good and growth of the Nigerian economy.