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Spectrum auction will democratise broadband for Nigerians, says NCC

By Adeyemi Adepetun
28 November 2022   |   4:04 am
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the ongoing process to auction two additional lots in the 3.5GHz spectrum for Fifth Generation (5G) is part of efforts to further democratise access to high-speed mobile broadband for all Nigerians.

[FILES] Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta. Photo; TWITTER/NGCOMMUNICATIONCOMM

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the ongoing process to auction two additional lots in the 3.5GHz spectrum for Fifth Generation (5G) is part of efforts to further democratise access to high-speed mobile broadband for all Nigerians.

Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated this in Lagos, over the weekend, while speaking at the 10th yearly Brands and Marketing Conference of the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), where the NCC was conferred with the ‘Regulator of the Decade’ Award.

Represented by Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, the EVC noted that the ongoing process, for which arrangements are in top gear, followed successful auctioning of two bands of the 3.5GHz spectrum in December of 2021.

Danbatta disclosed that the commission is currently reviewing the licences and frameworks for fixed broadband to update them, in line with current challenges, and make them more effective, as part of pivotal initiatives deployed by NCC that are already bearing fruits.

The EVC was emphatic that the commission, in pursuit of its mandate, has been relentless in creating suitable atmosphere for rollout and adoption of new technologies, and that government has taken firm position that the country must leverage digital technologies to grow the economy.

He noted the development of policies, such as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, which the NCC and other agencies and partners are assiduously implementing.

Danbatta informed participants at the conference that content creation and consumption have grown around the telecommunications infrastructure provided by technology, which Nigerians entertainers have leveraged to become global brands.

He said: “Due to heavy leverage on digital platforms, the Nigerian entertainment industry has gone global. Nollywood is one of the biggest movie industries in the world. In fact, Nollywood produces more movies yearly, compared to Hollywood.

“Nigerian music stars are in hot demand worldwide because of their popularity and brand recognition on social media. We should add that many of these global superstars emerging from Nigeria launched into stardom by leveraging Caller Tunes and other mobile content platforms to grow their brands and huge followers online.”

Danbatta declared: “Digital platforms are fostering different types of systemic change, creating new brands, eroding the value of some brands, while, at the same time, increasing the value of other brands. The innovation-transformation-disruption cycle has come to stay and will be exacerbated as technology continues to evolve.”

While urging Nigerians to be hopeful, the EVC said: “Let me assure you that the NCC will continue to aggressively drive the roll out and seamless operation of infrastructure to drive new digital technologies for the benefit of all sectors of our economy. It is our hope that Nigerian brands will continue to leverage on robust infrastructure to grow their value and ensure that our country derives maximum benefit from unfolding digital transformation efforts.”