The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said plans were underway to deploy 5G network across different communities in the country.
This was disclosed by the commission’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr Sunday Dare, while speaking to journalists at the Headquarters of the NCC in Abuja.
Mr Dare also mentioned that the listing of South African Telecom giant MTN on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) would open doors for other big telcos to be listed on the NSE.
He added that this would lead to rapid increase in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and infrastructural development for the industry.
He however regretted that the biggest challenge to the telecom industry is electricity supply and fibre cuts, stating that over 24,000 base stations (BTS) across the country are being powered by generators for an average of between 18 and 22 hours per day.
Mr Dare said: “A few months ago, we had a forum on 5G readiness where all critical stakeholders comprehensively examined the legal, regulatory and technology issues and we are developing a roadmap. So to say NCC is not getting the industry ready, is again, a mark of either ignorance or mischief.
“In addition to 5G, we have opened up consultations on spectrum for drones, etc. We are proactively leading discussions on the deployment of new technologies and other infrastructures. ”
“The fact is that about two years ago, NCC proactively identified about 200 remote communities which do not have coverage and began working with operators through the USPF to fill these gaps. What we are doing is trying to get these communities to leapfrog 2G networks and see how we can start them on broadband networks where economically feasible.
“At that time, we said that the population of the communities is up to 35 million. The issue is that it is not as if these people have not seen phones, it is that they do not have regular coverage. And between now and then a lot of grounds have been covered, ” Mr Dare said.
By Babatunde Alao…
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