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NCC releases guidelines on use of TV white space

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has released the draft guidelines for the use of Television White Spaces (TVWS) for rural broadband connectivity in Nigeria.

Television Whitespaces (TVWS) is the unassigned spectrum between broadcast television channels in the 470 to 694 MHz portion of the UHF frequency band that can be utilized to provide Internet access to the underserved and unserved regions of the country, mostly in rural service areas at broadband speeds.

It has also licensed seven international satellite space stations to drive the rural broadband connectivity. The authorised Space Stations permitted to provide coverage over Nigeria are Intelsat LLC, with 24 bands, Eutelsat SA, Avanti Hylas Limited, Yahsat, NSS Licensee BV, OneWeb and Imarsat.

The operation of the TV White space licensees will boost the overall goal of the Commission to drive national broadband connectivity and achieve 70 per cent national target over a period of five years.

To ensure that industry stakeholders are carried along in the final approval of the published guidelines the NCC in conjunction with the National Broadcasting Commission ( NBC) would be organizing an Industry consultation to present the draft Guidelines.

In preparation for the Industry consultation, the Commission has informed all Stakeholders to visit its website https://www.ncc.gov.ng/…/876-draft-guidelines-on-the-u…/file to view the guideline preparatory to the industry-wide consultation meeting.

Stakeholders are invited to peruse the Guidelines and provide input/feedback on or before the industry consultation meeting on a date to be announced, as the feedback will give NCC/NBC the opportunity to make all necessary adjustments prior to the Guidelines being finalized.

The telecom regulator, said in a statement signed by Dr Henry Nkemadu, director public affairs, that the release of the guidelines was in exercise of its functions enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act NCA-2003, which empowered it to develop the Commercial Satellite Communications Guidelines for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, which came into effect in November 2018.

Nkemadu said in line with the provisions of Section 13 of the Commercial Satellite Communications Guidelines, the Commission to date, has issued Landing Permits to 55 Space Stations providing coverage over Nigeria’s territory.

The guidelines provide a framework to enable license-exempt transmitters to operate in the

UHF band, which are allocated on a primary basis to the broadcast television service, on frequencies and at locations where the spectrum is either not assigned to licensed services or not in use at particular times, while protecting primary users from receiving harmful interference.

The license-exempt radio transmitters will allow for the provision of affordable broadband and Internet access in unserved and underserved areas within Nigeria, and support the development of Internet of Things applications, including agriculture.

The guidelines among others established the framework consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NBC and NCC, through which the NBC and the NCC may authorize the use of the TVWS spectrum, consistent with the ITU Radio Regulations and consistent the recommendation 76 of the 2012 World Radio Conference (WRC-12).


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