The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has released its timeline for the deployment of 5G in the country. According to the Commission, processes leading to commercial rollout of the technology will commence from Q2 2021 with spectrum allocation.
Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this at the Nigeria ICT Impact CEO Forum 2020 in Lagos, stated that the spectrum allocation would be followed by 5G spectrum auction, which is scheduled to take place in Q4 2021. He added that 5G Spectrum Assignment would take place Q1 2022, while the commercialisation of 5G spectrum is scheduled for Q4 2022.
With this, commercial deployment of 5G in Nigeria may not take place until 2023.
Speaking at the Forum organised by ICT Watch Magazine with the theme, 5G: The Future is Here, Danbatta, who was represented by the Director of Technical Standard and Network Integrity at the Commission, Engr. Bako Wakil said the Commission was committed to 5G deployment in Nigeria. While noting that the Federal Government would provide an enabling environment for 5G deployment, he said the mobile network operators (MNOs) would determine their deployment strategies subject to alignment to the approved policies and other regulatory instruments in force.
“Securing spectrum for 5G is an antecedent for any Operator to commit serious investment to SG infrastructure. This makes it imperative for the spectrum allocation and assignment process to be concluded as early as possible,” he added.
According to the EVC, the successful and timely deployment of 5G is crucial to the country’s economy, as it is also in line with the strategy of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the acceleration of the National Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria, the positioning of Nigeria as an early adopter of digital technology and a major participant in the growing global digital economy. He added that 5G is expected to facilitate several emerging technologies, generate innovative new use cases, spur significant socio-economic growth, and create jobs.