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5G licensees to get spectrum in six months

By Adeyemi Adepetun
04 March 2022   |   2:35 am
Winners of the Fifth-Generation (5G) network licenses are to be handed the spectrum between now and the next six months, after which deployment of the technology is expected to begin in earnest.

Senior Manager, legal and regulatory service, Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), Dr. Muhammed Suleh-Yusuf (left); Head Space Services, Usman Aliyu; Head, Online Media/Moderator, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan; Team Lead, Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecoms Sector, Babagana Digima and Head Fixed Networks and Converged Services, Anthony Ikemefuna during a panel discussion at the AfricaNXT 2022 in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTOS: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Experts claim network faster than the brain

Winners of the Fifth-Generation (5G) network licenses are to be handed the spectrum between now and the next six months, after which deployment of the technology is expected to begin in earnest.

This was disclosed in Lagos yesterday at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) panel session at the ongoing 2022 AfricaNXT technology conference.

The panelists, who dissected the theme: “Moving Forward Steadily: Socio-Economic Significance of Deployment of 5G Services,” submitted that the network holds huge prospects for the Nigerian economy.

Leading the charge, Team Lead, Nigeria Office for Developing Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) at NCC, Babagana Digima, reiterated the fact that 5G will enhance mobile broadband, boosting it by offering 200 folds increase in mobile speed.

Digima said with 5G, there will be something for everybody. He said the network will accelerate both broadband and narrowband Internet speeds, which are currently, low in the country.

According to him, NCC was not too stringent on rollout because of the commercial nature and benefits the service would offer. He said already, about one billion devices that would support the 5G network would be made available in 2022.

On his part, the Head, Space Services, NCC, Aliyu Usman, said the 5G network is smarter than the previous generations of technologies, and would impact several sectors of the economy significantly.

Usman said agric, education, security and health sectors would benefits the most from the network.
While calling on startups and the technology ecosystem to use 5G to create more innovations, Usman said the license confer 10 year tenure and a minimum of five sites for the licensees to deploy.

According to him, the commission would make the 5G spectrum available to the winners of the license within six months, which commenced from February 24, 2022, the deadline for the payment of the license fees.

He disclosed that NCC is working with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to develop a risk management framework, which would see that the commission creates a market for ethical workers.

According to him, vulnerability test and security design architecture for the technology would also feature in the risk management framework.

He disclosed that telecoms sector CSIRT in the framework would also be instituted to check if there are threats to the network.

Further at the panel, which was moderated by NCC Head of Online, Dr. Niyi Ibietan, the commission’s Head, Fixed Network and Converged Services, Tony Ikemefuna, said 5G technology offers an extremely low latency rate, which is the delay between the sending and receiving of information. He said from 200 milliseconds for 4G, “we go down to 1 millisecond (1ms) with 5G. The network is even faster than the brain, which processes information at 10 millisecond.”

According to him, everyone will benefits from 5G, including the older people. He stressed that with the technology; there would be fibre-like connectivity, which will usher in new wave of creativity in the country.

To the Senior Manager, NCC, Legal and Regulatory Service, Dr. Muhammed Sule-Yusuf, Nigeria was the first country to launch the network in Africa and the country has earned $547 million in spectrum auction. He said risk of 5G would start when the services become effective in the country.

According to him, there should be a balance between the tech speed and the technology itself, stressing that Nigeria is ready because of the efforts the NCC has put in place.

According to him, four issues would play out when deployment comes to the fore, these include liability, data protection and privacy, cybersecurity and taxation.

He said efforts must be channeled to ensure that cybercriminals do not benefit from the technology, stressing that in the 5G era, there would be need to protect peoples’ data to avoid litigations.

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