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Danbatta set up Committee on Spectrum Auction for 5G Deployment

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Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta

Following the Senate investigative hearing which gave the Fifth Generation (5G) technology a clean bill of health, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has taken a major proactive regulatory step by setting up a committee to develop the Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction of 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band which will be used for early deployment of 5G services in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, recently inaugurated the 18-member Committee in Abuja, with NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska as Auction Adviser while the Director, Spectrum Administration, NCC, Oluwatoyin Asaju, is the Committee Chairman.ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking during the inauguration, Danbatta said, apart from developing the IM for auctioning of C-band spectrum for 5G deployment in Nigeria, the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the committee will include the development of an award process to be used pursuant to which the grant of Spectrum licenses may be made.

The Information Memorandum (IM) defines the process that the Commission has decided to adopt for the auctioning of the 3.5GHz spectrum band. It will provide information on the Nigerian telecommunications market, details of the Spectrum to be made available, the pre-qualification process, the Auction process and indicative timetable.

Other ToRs reeled out for the committee by Danbatta include the auctioning of the C-band spectrum for 5G deployment in Nigeria in line with the award process; as well as report regularly/fortnightly to the EVC through the Office of the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services of the Commission on the progress made by the Committee.

While expressing delight at the current stage of 5G deployment process in Nigeria, especially with respect to established mutual understanding among stakeholders that 5G service poses neither security nor health risk to users, Danbatta said the outcome of the work of the Committee is a major step towards realisation of 5G services in Nigeria.

According to him, the NCC, in line with its mandate, has committed enormous resources to ensure harmonised spectrum is secured and released in a timely manner for present and future deployment of services that will underpin the fourth industrial revolution, including International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT-2020) services.

This, according to him, is in recognition of relevant provisions of the Nigerian Communication Act (NCA-2003) and its strategic plan for effective communications resource management, facilitating broadband penetration and improving Quality of Service (QoS) amongst others.

Speaking further, the EVC said the Commission had ensured the participation of relevant staff in international fora, especially in the International Telecommunication Union Radio Telecommunication Sector (ITU-R) study groups, to enable the allocation of strategic Spectrum to IMT services, especially IMT 2020, which, he said, has been in the front burner in the last two ITU-R study cycles towards World Radio Communication Conference (WRC-15 & WRC-19).

“Arising from these efforts, which include engagements with relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations during preparatory meetings at National, Regional and Continental level, we have been able to secure harmonised frequencies for 5G deployment in Nigeria,” he said.

He, however, stated where NCC desired premium spectrum like the 3.5GHz with good propagation characteristics suitable for capacity and coverage with good device ecosystem but did not have sufficient allocation, “we put in extra efforts and secured additional 160MHz in the 3.5GHz band by making huge commitment of resources to secure additional Spectrum from Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NigComSat),” culminating in a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NCC and NigComSat.

“Having put in these efforts and resources to secure, amongst others, contiguous Spectrum in a premium band like the 3.5GHz band that is being adopted as the best Spectrum for early deployment of 5G with about 70 per cent of 5G global deployment so far, it has become imperative to immediately re-purpose the 3.5GHz band in Nigeria for auction in accordance with best practices.

“In view of this, Danbatta said NCC Management deemed it necessary to constitute the committee with clear ToRs, adding that the committee members are expected to demonstrate strong commitment required to carry out these tasks and in a timely manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, Danbatta stated that even though some successful auctions have been conducted by the Commission in the past, “extra effort is required of us to ensure the success of this particular exercise since the 5G technology is just being adopted around the globe.”

The EVC tasked the committee to consider benchmarking its activities against other countries where 5G has been successfully deployed through successful auction of relevant spectrum band like 3.5GHz.

In his remarks, Asaju as the Chairman of the Committee, amplified the EVC’s voice on the MoU with NigComSat. Asaju stated that the Commission had, in line with the NCA- 2003, filled request for bulk allocation of 380 MHz bandwidth (3.52 – 3.9) GHz in the 3.5 GHz band from National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).

While assuring the EVC of the Committee’s readiness to deliver on its ToR, Asaju said the outcome of the actions will, no doubt, form the basis and put NCC on right pedestal for 5G deployment in Nigeria.

The Executive Commissioner, Technical Services of the Commission, Engr Ubale Maska, who doubles as the Auction Adviser, assured the EVC that the Committee will deliver on its mandate, noting, however, that work of the Committee is without prejudice to the approval of the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), which, he said, must be in place before 5G deployment can take commence in the country.

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Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign Agreement On Border Frequency Coordination

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Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign Agreement On Border Frequency Coordination

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Nigeria and Republic of Niger have signed a bilateral agreement in Abuja for coordination of frequency utilisation along their borders to ensure seamless deployment of services around the two countries.

The agreement signing ceremony was one of the highlights of the two-day Digital Economy Regional Conference, hosted by the Nigerian government and facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which ended at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja.

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while his Nigerien counterpart, the Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, Mr. Moussa Baraze, signed on behalf of his country.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta and Niger Republic’s Chairperson of the National Council for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post, Mrs. Aichatou Oumani, were witnesses to the agreement, which applies to the co-ordination of frequencies existing in the Nigeria-Niger transboundary areas between 87.5 megahertz (MHz) to 30 gigahertz (GHz).

The agreement indicated it will help in the effective coordination and sharing of frequencies and channels in the ‘buffer zone or area’ on borderlines between the two countries and also help to address one of the major issues of signal interference regulation that may arise in telecoms signal transmissions by terrestrial telecoms service providers, as it spells out the procedures for regulating such cases.

Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign Agreement On Border Frequency Coordination
Left-Right: EVC/CEO NCC Prof. Umar Danbatta, Minister of Post and New Information Technologies, Mr. Moussa Baraze, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and Niger Republic’s Chairperson of the National Council for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post, Mrs. Aichatou Oumani after signing an agreement on border frequency coordination.

The agreement, according to the two parties, provides, in part, that in case of harmful interference affecting one of the parties, the affected party shall inform the other party in writing for necessary action to be carried out.

“Also, the party from whence the interference is originating shall ensure that all necessary means are used to resolve the harmful interference within 30 days of receipt of the notice”, the agreement says.

While the Agreement is without prejudice to the rights and obligations of the parties specified in the Convention, the Constitution of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and other inter-governmental arrangements, it states, however, that the land and mobile services whose use is restricted for security, maritime and national defense or for which information is not available, shall not be subjected to the provisions of the agreement.

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Glo Holds Draw For Festival Of Joy House Prize In Ibadan

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Glo Holds Draw For Festival Of Joy House Prize In Ibadan

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Telecommunications operator, Globacom, on Thursday held a draw in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, to determine the winner of a house prize in its ongoing consumer-reward promo, Glo Festival of Joy.

The event which was held at the Gloworld outlet at Challenge, Ibadan, was witnessed by several Glo subscribers who enthusiastically volunteered to partake in the draw.

Mr. Matthew Aina, a walk-in customer who drew the winning number, marveled at the openness of the draw, just as another customer, Mrs. Taibat Azeez, commended Globacom for the transparent process of selecting the winner.

The Glo subscriber who emerged winner in the Ibadan draw has been informed of his luck and will be presented with the keys to the three-bedroom apartment at a presentation ceremony scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023.

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Airtel Announces Introduction Of eSIM

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Airtel, Microsoft, TD Africa Unveil Office Internet Smartbox Bundles To Boost SMEs Productivity In Nigeria

… says service is planet-friendly and customers can now use two numbers without needing two handsets

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has announced the launch of eSIM (embedded SIM) – a digital SIM that enables customers to access the same functionality as someone using a physical SIM.

The eSIM offers several benefits over the traditional SIM cards as it is quick and simple to set up online, it is planet-friendly (plastic-free/zero carbon emission) and provides an easy extra line as you can use two numbers without needing two phones/handsets.

The eSIM service is now immediately available on the Airtel network and customers who wish to switch their current physical SIM cards for eSIMs will need to ensure they have a compatible device (dial*#06#), obtain the required QR code and be guided through a SIM Swap process by an Airtel service personnel.

Airtel says it has developed a simple and flawless process to activate the eSIM service for all its customers just as it believes that the digital SIM will significantly improve the productivity of Nigerians, helping its stakeholders to achieve personal and professional goals.

Commenting on the eSIM, Ag. Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Femi Oshinlaja, said, “Airtel Nigeria is always at the forefront in championing technological advancement and creating innovative platforms and opportunities that will make life better, more exciting, and more enjoyable for all those in our stakeholder value chain. With eSIM, we are not only bringing the latest technology to the fingertips of our customers, but we are also focusing on our Sustainability goals of digital inclusion and environmental best practices as no plastic is involved with eSIM.

“It is therefore our commitment to continue to create offerings that will expand and deepen our digital footprints in line with our positioning as the network of first choice in Nigeria for everything mobile Internet, digital, and home broadband.”

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