On May 5, 2021, The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and The Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the use of the C-band spectrum for Fifth Generation Network (5G) services in Nigeria at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, explained 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.
He also mentioned that “The C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70 per cent 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 overemphasised.”
Professor Danbatta revealed that the two agencies have been discussing 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 the end-user terminal is cheaper there while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.
Professor Adeolu Akande, the Board Chairman of NCC, represented by an NCC Board member, Chief Uche Onwude, mentioned that “5G does not only offer enhanced broadband and ultra-reliable latency communications but also provides massive machine-type communications, where a lot of devices will seamlessly connect and independently interact with the internet without human intervention.”
He also explained that “In recent times, precisely from the last quarter of 2019, several administrations have begun to license Spectrum for commercial deployment of 5G. Today, 5G services have been deployed in the United States of America, South Korea, Kenya and a host of other developed countries.
“Telecommunication evolution from inception to date has led to an improved user experience witnessed from 2G, 3G and later 4G. The global impact of 4G brought about increases in mobile usage and network performance. 5G will build on this momentum, bringing substantial network improvements, including higher connection speeds, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.
“Spectrum plays a critical role in realising the full extent of these new capabilities. Thus, 5G’s full socio-economic impact is dependent on access to a variety of spectrum resources.” Uche Onwude concluded.