As parts of efforts to ensure early deployment of Fifth Generation Network (5G) services in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable Frequency Spectrum band(s).
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, explained that among the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) which stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.
Danbatta said the C-band is 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.
According to him, “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.
“The Commission initiated negotiation with NIGCOMSAT whom in our estimate could 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.
“The impeccable team at NigComSat proved us right”.
Danbatta thanked the management of the NIGCOMSAT under the leadership of Dr. Abimbola Alale for demonstrating that the interest of Nigeria is paramount to the organizational or personal interest.
He said: “The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) portion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.
“The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum.
“The two agencies have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing all the aspect of this undertaking.
“It is my belief that the impact of this decision knows no bounds and will not only strengthen the relationship between both agencies but would also go a long way in making positive impact on the Nigerian economy”.