NCC mulls infrastructure sharing as 5G trial comes to Lagos
For efficient 5G deployment in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is planning infrastructure sharing model to aid service providers.
The NCC disclosed this during the MTN 5Gtrial in Lagos, powered by Ericsson.
Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Henry Ojiokpota, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. UmarDanbatta, said the NCC is ready to support operators, especially in overcoming challenges associated with Rights of Way (RoW), antenna mast, and tower structures deployment, construction of ducts for fibre optic cables among others.
Danbatta said the Commission will continue to consult with the National Assembly with regards to the National Infrastructure Bill, “and we understand that it is in the final stage. Once it becomes active, the infrastructure will be protected.”
Concerning the launch of 5G by MTN, he said, “This is not the first time! MTN already had a trial in Calabar and Abuja. Now, they are launching in Lagos.
“They have 100meg spectrum in Calabar and 20meg spectrums in Lagos. Spectrum is a scarce resource, so all the operator shave to share it. We believe that when the service comes on board next year, things would have been better, especially in the areas of infrastructure.”
The EVC also described 5G as a game-changer that will bring competition in the area of smart city and healthcare.
“5G will boost capacity, it will help a lot of homes…it is going to reduce traffic on our road as people will have access to high-speed Internet
“To us, 5G is a welcome idea and development. We are encouraging competition and efficient use of spectrum. NCC is looking at rolling out infrastructure sharing regulation, which is still at the draft stage where all these issues of spectrum will be resolved.
“This will help operators to lease spectrum to one another and that will help to move the industry forward. 5G is key and the future, and you cannot afford not to be part of the future. That is why NCC is excited about what MTN is doing today because they are actually opening up the future,” Danbatta stated.
Senior Manager, Radio Frequency Planning, MTN Nigeria, Nasir Hayatou, said the telecommunications firm is ready to deploy the service in the country.
However, Hayatou said some things including spectrum, fibre infrastructure must be available to ensure that 5Gservices become efficient in the country.
He also queried the increasing multiple taxes, insecurity, especially the vandalism of telecoms infrastructure, stressing that such remain a challenge to the full enthronement of 5G and other broadband-related services.