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Nigeria Sets Aside 5G Spectrum to Pave Way for Deployment

Story Highlights
  • Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) signed an MoU with Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) to release some of its spectra for 5G purposes.
  • NigComSat will shift its satellites to use the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) leaving non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.
  • The non-standard C-band is suitable for 5G due to its coverage and capacity with over 60 percent global commercial 5G network deployment using the band.
  • The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G spectrum.

Nigeria ’s communications authority has set aside a spectrum that the country’s telcos will use to launch 5G. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) signed an MoU with Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) to release some of its spectra for 5G purposes.

NigComSat will shift its satellites to use the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz). That frees up the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.

There is a wide range of frequencies used by 5G, but the commission chose the non-standard C-band for its coverage and capacity.

Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, says it’s the “most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70 percent of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band.”

He says the spectrum is key to the early deployment of 5G in the country. So far, only a number of telcos across Africa have launched 5G, including Safaricom.

“The importance of this Spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized,” Danbatta added.

All it takes is an average of 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band for an operator to offer optimal 5G performance, according to Danbatta.

The commission says the allocated 3.9GHz – 4.2GHz to NigComSat is more suitable for satellite operations as it paves the way for cheaper terminal services for end-users.

According to NCC, the cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G spectrum.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin Wanjala has been writing about technology for over 2 years. He writes about different topics in the consumer tech space. He loves streaming music, programming, and gaming during downtimes.

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