Nigeria assigns 470MHz spectrum bands to mobile operations
Ahead of the planned 5G roll out in 2020, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) would offer the service in three different frequency bands.
According to NCC, which listed the bands to include the 2.6GHz, 3.8GHz and 4.2GHz spectrum bands, said there will be compelling commercial case for 5G roll outs, which will be championed by the service providers.
NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this in Abuja at the collaborative meeting with Global System for Mobile telecommunications Association (GSMA) for 5G rollout in Nigeria, noted that the country must be on the same page with other countries.
While admitting the infrastructure gap prevalent in the country, Danbatta said the Commission was already working to address several challenges that could stall its progress.
Danbatta said, “NCC is already working on the three key factors that will drive 5G deployments, which include infrastructure, spectrum and regulation ahead of the 2020 rollout date.
“We will rely on existing policies and regulation and still come up with additional policies and regulation that will address any hiccups.”
Meanwhile, the GSMA has put the total number of spectrum bands assigned to mobile operations in Nigeria at 470MHz since the revolution began in the country.
GSMA however, which said this is far in excess of the sub-Saharan African average of 268 MHz in the last few years, noted that some inefficiencies may exist in the utilization of spectrum, as around a quarter of the spectrum assigned to mobile is being used by a few service providers that jointly account for less than two per cent of the mobile market.
According to the association, which represents the interest of over 800 operators and vendors across the globe, said this includes 50MHz of valuable sub-1GHz spectrum, which is vital for creating good nationwide mobile broadband coverage.
GSMA noted that in the adoption of digital services by government, businesses, and consumers is having a positive impact on daily life in Nigeria.
It stressed that mobile technology is playing an increasingly central role in the country’s economy and, for the majority of Nigerians, mobile broadband is the first and only technology for accessing the Internet, opening the door to a whole new world.
Revealing some statistics about Nigeria, GSMA said there are 97.5 million unique mobile subscribers, which would rise to 130 million by 2025. This, it said is 49 per cent of the population, which will hit 55 per cent in seven years time.
The body said there are 151 million connections in Nigeria, which will rise to 210 million by 2025.
It revealed that 3.2 million are cellular IoT connections. In terms of smartphone adoption, GSMA claimed that there are 53 million connections, which would rise to 144 million by 2025, with adoption rate of 36 per cent.
GSMA noted that mobile technology is having a direct and positive impact on the daily lives of Nigerians, by fostering inclusive growth and enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the economy.
According to it, $21 billion was added to the GDP in in 2017, representing 5.5 per cent.
It created nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs and aided $1.8 billion total tax collection, which was equivalent to 16 per cent of government tax revenue for the period.