NCC, NigComSat sign MoU on 5G spectrum to propel Nigeria’s digital economy
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable frequency spectrum bands for early deployment of fifth Generation (5G) Network services in Nigeria.
NCC and NigComSat discussed on how to relocate the NG-1R satellite of NigComSat to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) portion of the band, which is considered more suitable in terms of satellite service offering because of the advantage of cheaper terminal devices for end users. Accordingly, such relocation will leave the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use while the cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G spectrum.
Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC said, ''The Commission initiated negotiations with NigComSat to make some adjustment to its satellite operation and release part of its spectrum holding in the band to facilitate the deployment of 5G in Nigeria. Among the Frequency Spectrum bands used for 5G, the C-band (3.4GHz - 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity. 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 over emphasized. For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. However, in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites.''
Abimbola Alale, the Managing Director of NigComSat said, ''The Nigerian Communications Satellite is happy about the collaboration, which will ensure a win-win relationship between both agencies of government as well as benefit the government in its drive to facilitate the development of Nigeria’s digital ecosystem.''
The MoU will go a long way in making positive impact on the Nigerian economy and it will also offer a new chapter of cooperation, collaborations and mutual assistance that will further spur the growth of the telecommunications ecosystem in the country.