The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Approves the Trial Deployment of 5G Services

NCC, the independent regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, has recently approved a trial deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in the country.

NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, made this approval known to the public on Tuesday, August 27th, during his opening remarks at the 1st Digital African Week, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and hosted by the NCC at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The Digital African Week, a four-day conference, began on Tuesday, with the aim of allowing all stakeholders in the emerging digital space to deliberate on the future technologies in Africa.

During his speech to the stakeholders at the event, Danbatta acknowledged the evolving trends in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which is giving rise to technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) applications and smart cities and communities (SC&C), among others. As a result, he said NCC is rightly positioned to activate trial of 5G deployment in Nigeria.

Commenting on this, he said, “In this regards, we have approved spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country.” He further noted that this regulatory move is consistent with Nigerian’s Vision 20:2020, which recognises the importance and imperatives of ICT, as part of the “new world order and catalyst for sustainable socio-economic development.

Nigerians are still struggling with the adoption and coverage of 4G LTE, which followed 3G, with a 6% adoption, and 51% coverage as at June 2019.

Yet, the belief is that this 5G improvement will positively impact on the country’s connectivity landscape, providing high-speed, reliable and robust network. It will efficient5ly aid the activities in the country’s multi-billion-dollar growing digital economy.

Essentially, what this 5G trial deployment means is that telecom operators in the country (Airtel, MTN, Glo) will have to upgrade their networks to multi-standard 5G-ready infrastructure.