By Chinenye Anuforo
Industry collaboration is very essential to successful deployment of 5G Services in Nigeria, so says the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who in Lagos, urged industry stakeholders to stand with the Commission to explore the prospects and potentials of the new technology, which is enormous.
Danbatta, who spoke at the 90th Edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) hosted by the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission, said the policy framework for the deployment has come into place and will facilitate deployment of services by the recent winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction, MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd and MAFAB Communications Ltd.
He said the Commission has set out the regulatory instruments needed for fast deployment of the new versatile technology for the benefit of the consumers and the stakeholders.
Danbatta, therefore, invited the support of all stakeholders to ensure that 5G technology is deployed in Nigeria in a manner beneficial to all telecom consumers and to support the emergent Digital Economy Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He highlighted the potential use cases for 5G networks as broadly categorised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to include Enhanced Mobile broadband (eMBB), Massive Machine-type Communications (mMTC), as well as Ultra-reliable and Low-latency Communications (uLLC)
“We will continue to collaborate with stakeholders across sectors to ensure faster deployment of 5G services, and accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s broadband infrastructure,” he said.
He identified some challenges in the deployment to include limited frequencies with the required spectral efficiency, skilled professionals with requisite knowledge of the technology, fewer number of 5G-enabled devices, and cost of deployment but stated that the industry must work to turn the challenges into opportunities rather than seeing them as obstacles.
Prof. Danbatta said the issues that should militate against or slow down the deployment of 5G technology are themselves opportunities that can potentially create new revenue streams or new subsectors in the industry.
In the panel discussion on the presentation titled “5G Networks: Opportunities and Challenges” by Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, who chaired the panel session, urged all participants to exploit the opportunities offered by the 90th TCP to contribute to the deployment of 5G Network in Nigeria.
“We must conclude this Telecom Consumer Parliament with solutions to challenges that are associated with 5G deployment in countries that had deployed the services ahead of Nigeria. We must also have a clear roadmap on how the opportunities offered by the technology can be maximized for the benefit of Nigerians” Adewolu said.
The event was attended by representatives of Mobile Networks Operators (MNOs), the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Consumer Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation (CADEF), Association of Telecoms Cable TV and Internet Subscribers (ATCIS), and other key stakeholders in the telecom industry.