The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has revealed that the giant of Africa is prepared for the 5G network.
Prof. Umar Dambatta, Executive Director of NCC, who made this known at a session with the press in Abuja, disclosed that after the enlisting of leading mobile operator into the Stock Exchange, more operators like Bharti Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile are now ready to also be part of it.
He revealed that the Nigerian Communications Commission, asides organising a stakeholders’ forum to ascertain a roadmap for 5G, have already begun to consult on the spectrum for drones and are very much at the forefront of discussions on the deployment of fresh technologies.
Umar said, “NCC did not just sit back. Apart from constantly engaging with state governors through NEC of Nigeria Governors Forum, we have also stepped in directly by licensing InfraCos to provide fibre bandwidth on an open access base. We are providing them with a subsidy to mitigate their costs.
“We expect this to start bearing fruit shortly, but the major thing is the support of the state governors. That is critical. Nigeria is a federation of 36 states; we cannot dictate what to charge for RoW to them, we can only persuade them and hope they see the superior merit and long-term benefits of making their states receptive to telecoms infrastructure.”
He said, after enlisting popular mobile operator in Nigeria into the Nigeria Stock Exchange, more operators such as Bharti Airtel, Globacom and 9mobile are more than eager to partake.
Prof Umar shared that after the smooth listing of MTN on the stock market, they anticipate that Airtel, who recently revealed its plans to participate, would get enlisted soonest, and then Glo and 9Mobile can follow suit.
On the reason for NCC’s fixation on mobile broadband than fixed broadband, Umar said, “First, some people who should know better are making it seem like a direct policy decision to neglect fixed broadband. This is unfair and untrue. It is either based on ignorance or mischief.
“The fact is that the National Broadband Plan has both mobile and fixed components, and NCC is exerting action in both directions. Fixed broadband requires you to lay cables. To do that, you need Right of Way Permits, which are controlled by state governments.