The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said this at the 90th Edition of Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) held on Thursday in Lagos.
Danbatta said that NCC, through the support of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, would ensure the deployment of spectrum to further accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s broadband services.
“The final letters of award have been issued to MTN and Mafab Communications, which emerged winners of the 3.5GHz Spectrum auction conducted on Dec. 13, 2021.
”In line with the information memorandum, the licensees are expected to commence rollout of 5G services effective from Aug. 24, 2022.
“The successful completion of the process leading to the final letters is confirmation that the rollout of 5G technology services in Nigeria is on course,” Danbatta said.
The EVC reiterated that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had revealed that 5G network would ensure Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB); Massive machine-type Communications (mMTC) and Ultra-reliable and low-latency Communications (URLLC).
He said with the estimated population of 214 million Nigerians; with an average growth rate of 2.6 per cent annually, approximately 76.46 per cent of the population should be under the age of 35.
”In line with the demographic changes, internet penetration grew from three per cent in 2004 to 73.82 per cent as of September 2022 while broadband penetration increased from less than 10 per cent in 2015 to 40.01 per cent in September 2021.
“The potential for expansion is a great opportunity for 5G deployment as operators are certain of recouping their investment,” he said.
He noted that some challenges of the spectrum identified by ITU included the requirements for more spectrally efficient technologies, which were more than what the current 3G and 4G system required.
He said ITU also identified intrinsic propagation characteristics of millimetres waves, which may require greater number of base stations.
”It is a challenge that stakeholders must collaborate to address as Nigeria rolls out 5G technology services,” the EVC said.
Danbatta reiterated that the goal of the commission was for Nigeria to be one of the leading nations with 5G technology deployment that would benefit all stakeholders and contribute maximally to the digital economy policy of the Federal Government.
The theme of the meeting was ‘5G Technology: Opportunities and Challenges.’