- Picture- L-R: Engr. Oluwatoyin Asaju, Director, Spectrum Administration, NCC; Mr. Hadi Muhammad, Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, NIGCOMSAT; Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, NCC; Chief Uche Onwude, Member, NCC Board of Commissioners; Dr. Abimbola Alale, Managing Director, NIGCOMSAT; Prof Abdu Bambale, Executive Director, Technical, NIGCOMSAT, and Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Fifth Generation (5G) spectrum on Wednesday in Abuja.
Chairman Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission. (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, has lauded the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat), Dr. Abimbola Alale for taking an informed decision in the national interest which will foster the deployment of fifth Generation Network (5G) and enable Nigeria tap its full potential.
Prof Akande gave the commendation on Wednesday at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NCC and NigComSat to facilitate the release of spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G services in Nigeria.
He recalled that “Telecommunication evolution from inception to date has led to improvement in user experience witnessed from 2G, 3G and later 4G. The global impact of 4G brought about increases in mobile usage and network performance.” and enthused that “5G will build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities. ”
Akande was represented at the signing of the MoU by a Board member of NCC, Chief Uche Onwude.
Also speaking at the occasion, Professor Danbatta said the collaboration between the NCC and NigComSat will “facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable Frequency Spectrum band(s) for early deployment of fifth Generation Network (5G) services in the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa.”
He noted that “amongst the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity. The C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70% of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band, thus the importance of this Spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.”
Prof Danbatta said “For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. However in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites. ”
He recalled that “The Commission initiated negotiation with NIGCOMSAT whom in our estimate could make some adjustment to its satellite operation and release part of its Spectrum holding in the band to facilitate the deployment of 5G in Nigeria. ” and added that “The impeccable team at NigComSat proved us right. ”
The NCC EVC expressed appreciation to the Management of the NigComSat “under the distinguished leadership of my Sister Dr. Abimbola Alale for demonstrating that the interest of our dear country is paramount to our organizational or personal interest.”
He said “The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use. The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum.”, pointing out that “The two agencies have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing all the aspect of this undertaking.”
Responding, the Nigcomsat MD, Dr. Alale thanked the NCC for collaborating with her agency in order to advance the course of digital economy of the Federal Government.