Nigerians will begins to enjoy the 5th Generation network by August as the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed issuance of the final letters of award to the successful bidders.
The regulator made this known in a statement on Wednesday.
MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications had won the 3.5GHz spectrum auction conducted by the Commission on Monday, December 13, 2021 where Airtel lost out.
The management of the Commission led by its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta confirmed the development at the Board’s Special Meeting which held in April.
NCC said, “With the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrum and in line with the Auction’s Information Memorandum (IM), the two licensees are now expected to accelerate 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.”
According to the regulator, when the 5G network is deployed, it would bring a lot of benefits and opportunities that will engender accelerated growth and smart living in the country.
The regulator said, “The technology is also expected to bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.”
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, had on February 22, 2022, officially handed over the spectrum allocation for 5G deployment as well as Federal Government-approved National Policy on 5G to the Commission.
On February 24, 2022, NCC confirmed the full payment of $273.6m each by MTN and Mafab.
The NCC also received additional $15.9mn (N6.62bn ) as the bidding sum it offered at the assignment state of the spectrum auction to help it secure its preferred Lot 1 (3500-3600 Megahertz-MHz) in the 3.5Ghz spectrum.
NCC added, “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.”