THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said telecommunication operators are expected to begin the roll out of 5th generation technology services in August 2022, after it handed over the final letters of award of 5G spectrum licences to winners of the December 3.5GHz spectrum auctions.
With the letters, the winners of the auction, MTN and Mafab Communication, are now expected to accelerate the deployment of 5G network that will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a more digitised Nigerian economy.
“In line with the terms and conditions of the 5G license, the licensees are expected to commence roll out 5G services effective from August 24, 2022,” the NCC said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Ikechukwu Adinde.
Mafab Communication and MTN Nigeria emerged the two successful winners of the 3.5gigahertz(GHz) spectrum auction for the deployment of 5G technology while Airtel had opted out of the bid.
The winners had emerged after 11 rounds of bidding which lasted for eight hours. The NCC had fixed the minimum price of $197.4 million, and the two winners got the nod of the regulator at $273 million each.
The Commission said the 5G network will provide a lot of benefits and opportunities that will accelerate growth and smart living in the country.
According to the commission, 5G technology is also expected to bring considerable network improvement, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.
After the government handed over the 5G policy to the commission, on February 24, NCC acknowledged the full payment of $273.6 million each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, for the 5G spectrum licence.
“The Commission is optimistic that effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G will accelerate the actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.
“While the licensees are expected to meet the timetable regarding their 5G network rollout obligations, the NCC requires collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government toward transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G, which will herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G,” the statement said.