NCC, NIGCOMSAT sign MoU for early deployment of 5G network

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and Nigerian Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, for the early deployment of the Fifth Generation Network, 5G.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, noted that amongst the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.

He explained that the C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70% 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 overemphasized.

He said that 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 EVC said that the Commission initiated a negotiation with NIGCOMSAT whom in their 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. [I want to] use this medium to appreciate the Management of the NigComSat under the distinguished leadership of my Sister Dr. Abimbola Alale for demonstrating that the interest of our dear country is paramount to our organizational or personal interest,” Danbatta 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) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because the end-user terminal is 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.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to sign the MOU for further execution. 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 a positive impact on the Nigerian economy.”