Nigeria set for immediate deployment of 5G Services as NCC Sign MoU with NigComSat on C-band

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The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umaru Danbatta stated at the signing Ceremony Of Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) Between NCC And Nigcomsaton The Use Of C-Band Spectrum For 5G Services In Nigeria that this historic event between the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that will facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable Frequency Spectrum band(s) for early deployment of fifth Generation Network (5G) services in the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa.

L-R: Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, Director, Spectrum Administration, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr. Hadi Muhammad, Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT); Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, NCC; Chief Uche Onwude, Member, NCC Board of Commissioners; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT;  Prof Abdu Bambale, Executive Director, Technical, NIGCOMSAT, and  Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Fifth Generation (5G) spectrum on Wednesday in Abuja.

The professor in his speech delivered noted that 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. He pointed that 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, Danbatta said an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. According to the NCC Boss, 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.

Prof Danbatta cited that 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 impeccable team at NigComSat proved us right, he said

 

NCC Boss said permit me to use this medium to appreciate the Management of the NigComSat under the distinguished leadership of my Sister Dr. Abimbola Alale for demonstrating that the interest of our dear country is paramount to our organizational or personal interest.

 

EVC noted that 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, he added.

“The two agencies have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing all the aspect of this undertaking.

 

“We are gathered here today to sign the MOU for further execution. It is my believe that the impact of this decision knows no bounds and will not only strengthen the relationship between both agencies but would also go a long way in making positive impact on the Nigerian economy.

In response The MD of Nigcomsat, Dr. ABimbola Alale only spoke extemporizes. However, she only thanked the Commission for collaborating with her company in order to advance the course of the digital economy of the Federal Government.


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