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Stakeholders Urge Use of Unlicensed Spectrum for Broadband Penetration


As federal government seeks to achieve a 30 percent broadband penetration target by 2018, stakeholders in Information and communications technology have urged government to consider making available more unlicensed spectrum for the provision of broadband internet especially in the rural areas, in view of the protracted process of realizing National Rural Telephony Project (NRTP).

Engr. Lanre Ajayi, immediate past president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) said that spectrum ordinarily, should be unlicensed but because it is limited resources that are valuable made some of it to be licensed.

He said that unlicensed spectrum is used for the benefit of the people and need not to be given commercial value. He cited Wi-Fi which according to him is an unlicensed frequency that smartphones and laptops use for internet connectivity at hotspots.

“Government should make available more frequencies as unlicensed for use in the rural areas in the provision of broadband internet just as United States is doing”, he stated.

This is coming against the backdrop of a recent report by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) which estimates that growth of devices relying on unlicensed spectrum is extremely strong.

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