The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has set December 10 for a mock auction of 5G technology ahead of the main auction at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, three days later. According to the body, after the two slots to be auctioned have been picked by successful bidders during the December 13 auction, the stage will be set for the next phase of 5G roll-out commencing in 2022. The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Garba Umar Dambatta, said these during a capacity building for media workers in Kano.
Dambatta said Nigeria’s promising 5G plan had the objectives of ensuring efficient assignment of spectrum for 5G deployment. According to him, it will also create an enabling environment for investment in the telecoms industry as well as ensuring effective deployment of 5G to cover major cities in 2025, among others. He said in line with the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2025 for a Digital Nigeria, and the positioning of the country as an early adopter of digital technology in the growing global digital economy, deployment of 5G was crucial.
“In view of its characteristics such as enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency and speed, 5G is expected to facilitate several emerging technologies, including Internet of Things, Machine-to-Machine communication, among others,” Dambatta said. The NCC chief said it was expected that the roll-out of the 5G would be carried out in phases beginning with major cities where there is a need for high-quality broadband. “Recall that the commission commenced the process for the auction of the 5G spectrum in the last quarter of the year and has since carried out the following activities with the following important timelines,” he said. Dambatta said as of October 7, the commission had exposed the Draft Information Memorandum (IM) on the auction of the 5G spectrum on its website and issued a public notice in major channels, including print, electronic and broadcast media. He said: “Comments on the draft IM were received by the commission up until October 28, 2021. The IM is a document that defines the process for the licensing of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band by the NCC.”