The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, has conveyed the federal government’s approval for MTN Nigeria and MAFAB Communications to begin the implementation of 5G services in the country, following a special board meeting of the NCC. MTN and Mafab get final approval for 5G rollout from the NCC.
The approval confirms that the two operators who won the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction in December 2021 met all of the requirements for the country’s first launch of the innovative service.
It also offers the operators enough time to satisfy the August 2022 deadline for service rollout, as outlined in the auction’s Information Memorandum.
The Commission confirmed the full payment of $273.6 million each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to the spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, for the 5G spectrum licence on February 24.
According to a statement issued by the Commission’s Director Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, “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.
While licensees are required to meet their 5G network rollout dates, the NCC believes that it will need a combined effort and support from the private sector to modernize every aspect of the country’s economy through 5G, which would usher in more change than the 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
When fully operational, the 5G network will provide enormous benefits and potential for the country’s accelerated growth and smart living.
Significant network benefits are also promised as a result of the technology, including increased connection speed, mobility, and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.
The Commission expressed optimism that effective implementation of the National 5G Policy will hasten the achievement of national targets set out in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, and other sectoral policies aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s digital transformation.