Nigerian regulator approves the trial deployment of 5G services

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  • Nigeria has approved trial deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services.
  • Telecom operators in Nigeria to upgrade their networks to multi-standard 5G-ready infrastructure.
  • According to GSMA, 4G adoption in Nigeria is about 6% and coverage at 51% as of June 2019.

Nigerian regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved a dedicated spectrum for trial deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) services in the country.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, NCC's Executive Vice Chairman, made this known on Tuesday, August 27th, during his opening remarks at the 1st Digital African Week in Abuja.

Addressing stakeholders at the event, Danbatta acknowledged the evolving trends in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem, giving rise to such technologies as Internet of Things (IoT) applications and smart cities and communities (SC&C), among others, saying the Commission was well-positioned to jump-start trial of 5G deployment in the country.

“In this regard, we have approved spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country,” he said, stressing that the licensing of seven infrastructure companies (Infraco) to deploy metro and intercity fibre and broadband Point of Access with a minimum capacity of 10Gbps across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria, is in line with the 8-point agenda of the Commission for the provision of ubiquitous broadband infrastructure across the country in the Next Level document.

He noted that such a regulatory move is also consistent with Nigeria’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.

The 1st Digital African Week

The digital week is a four-day conference organised by the NCC in conjunction with the Management of International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T) Study Group 20 and Study Group 5 Regional Group for Africa Meeting. 

The essence of the conference is to allow all stakeholders in the emerging digital space to deliberate on future technologies in Africa.

What role will 5G play in Nigeria's connectivity landscape

Although the country is still struggling with the adoption and coverage of 4G, the fifth-generation network guarantees high-speed, reliable and robust network. It is aid activities in Nigeria's multi-billion-dollar burgeoning digital economy. The industry is expected to generate $88 billion and create up to three million jobs in the next three years, according to a government official.

What is in it for mobile operators

With this trial deployment, telecom operators in Nigeria will need to further upgrade their networks to multi-standard 5G-ready infrastructure.

By 2025, GSMA sees 5G mass market in Sub-Saharan Africa

According to a recent report by GSMA, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa will have 28 million 5G connections, equivalent to 3% of the total mobile connections by 2025.

As of June 2019, 4G adoption in Nigeria is about 6% and coverage at 51%.


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