June 23, 2021

The Nigerian Communications Commission has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat). This will facilitate the release of contiguous bandwidth in one of the most suitable Frequency Spectrum band(s) for early deployment of fifth Generation Network (5G) services in the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking during the occasion, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta said the Frequency Spectrum bands allocated to 5G by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the C-band (3.4GHz – 3.9GHz) stands out because its balancing point between coverage and capacity provides the perfect environment for 5G connectivity.

The NCC Boss further stated that”The C-band is most suitable and appropriate for immediate deployment of 5G services taking into consideration availability of device ecosystem with 60-70% of global commercial 5G network deployment currently in the band, thus the importance of this Spectrum for early deployment of 5G services in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized.

“He said; for optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100 MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an Operator. However in Nigeria, only 120 MHz of the band (3.4 – 3.52) GHz is available for mobile services while the remaining 680 MHz (3.52 – 4.2) GHz of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites.

The Commission initiated negotiation with NIGCOMSAT whom in our estimate could make some adjustment to its satellite operation and release part of its Spectrum holding in the band to facilitate the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.

The impeccable team at NigComSat proved us right. Ladies and gentleman, permit me to use this medium to appreciate the Management of the NigComSat under the distinguished leadership of

Dr. Abimbola Alale for demonstrating that the interest of our dear country is paramount to our organizational or personal interest.

The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz – 4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of Satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz – 3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use.

The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G Spectrum. The two agencies have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing all the aspect of this undertaking.

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