NCC gives final approval for 5G roll-out to MTN, Mafab

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By Favour Nnabugwu


The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta has conveyed the federal government approval of MTN Nigeria and MAFAB Communications to commence the roll out of 5G services in the country.

The approval certifies that the two operators who emerged winners of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction in December 2021 have satisfied all necessary requirements to roll out the innovative service in the country after the NCC came out from a meeting.

It also gives the operators time to meet up the August 2022 deadline to roll out services as the Information Memorandum of the auction stipulated.

The Commission, had on February 24, 2022, confirmed the full payment of $273.6 million each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, for the 5G spectrum licence.

Danbatta who dropped the hint yesterday, that he had conveyed the message to the operators said, “the commission has issued final letters of award of the Fifth Generation (5G) Spectrum Licences to MTN and Mafab Communications, winners of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction conducted by the Commission on Monday, December 13, 2021” .

A Statement from the Director Public Affairs of the Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said that “with the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrum and in line with the 5G auction’s Information Memorandum (IM), the two licensees are now expected to accelerate deployment of 5G network that will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a more digitised Nigerian economy among the comity of nations.

Terms and conditions of the 5G licence, mandates the licensees to commence rollout of 5G services, effective from August 24, 2022.

While the licensees are expected to meet the timetable regarding their 5G network rollout obligations, the NCC says it required collective efforts and support of the private-sector towards transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G, which will herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.

The 5G network, when deployed, will bring huge benefits and opportunities that will engender accelerated growth and smart living in the country.

The technology is also expected to bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.

The Commission said it is optimistic that effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G will accelerate the actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.

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