Why the NCC is suspending the allocation of 5G frequency

Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, yesterday disclosed that the Commission is suspending these potential frequency spectrum allocations for 5G services- 26GHz, 38Ghz and 42Ghz bands.

None of these frequency spectrums have been approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the moment. But the possibility of that happening abounds.

Why the decision?

According to Professor Danbatta who was represented at a stakeholder consultative forum in Abuja, the decision to suspend the frequency allocation became necessary as a way to forestall any encumbrance that may arise when the frequencies are eventually assigned by the ITU.

“The commission has identified some of the potential frequency bands that may be harmonised for 5G deployment in region one and therefore suspended the licensing of those frequencies.

“This step will ensure that Nigeria is not caught unawares when those frequency bands are harmonised by standardisation bodies.  Key among these bands are 26Ghz, 38Ghz and 42Ghz bands.” -Danbatta

Speaking further, Mr Danbatta said that the number of people using mobile phones have continually been on the increase and is projected to reach six billion according to research data from GSMA.

In Nigeria alone, there are about 106 million active internet subscribers as at September 2018, he said.

Manwhile, in a related development McKinsey Global estimates “that over 75 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by the year 2025, with global economic contribution ranging from $3.9 to $11.1tn annually.”

In light of these developments, therefore, the NCC boss urged stakeholders to work towards maximising the opportunities presented by these technologies.

“As such, all stakeholders are challenged to help develop smarter and efficient ways of utilising the already limited available resources in order to maximise the gains of these technologies.”

The Nigerian Communications Commission is the regulatory authority in charge of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector. It is based in Abuja, and has the responsibility for providing favourable competition among telecoms operators.

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