The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that the rollout of Fifth Generation (5G) services would commence in August.
The NCC also issued final letters of award of the 5G Spectrum Licences to MTN and Mafab Communications, who emerged winners of 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction conducted in December last year.
In a statement signed by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, the licensees are expected to commence the rollout of 5G services, effective from August 24, 2022, in line with the terms and conditions of the 5G licence.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, confirmed the issuance of the letters of licence of awards to the Board of Commissioners at the Board’s Special Meeting, which took place in April.
According to the statement, the deployment of the 5G network will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a more digitised Nigerian economy among the comity of nations.
The statement added that the 5G network, when deployed, would bring a lot of benefits and opportunities that would engender accelerated growth and smart living in the country.
Also, the technology is expected to bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.
Following the auction of 3.5GHz on December 13, 2021, the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, had, on February 22, 2022, officially handed over the spectrum allocation for 5G deployment, as well as Federal Government-approved National Policy on 5G to the Commission.
Subsequently, the Commission, on February 24, 2022, confirmed the full payment of $273.6m each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to the spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN for the 5G spectrum licence.
The NCC said while the licensees were expected to meet the timetable regarding their 5G network rollout obligations, there was a need for collective efforts and support of the private sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G.
It stated that the 5G spectrum would herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.