Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), on Thursday said telecommunications operators in the country would roll out 5G services by 2020.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on the sidelines of a workshop entitled ‘Driving Innovation and Growth.’ Danbatta said a trial for the network is already taking place in the Atlantic City Lagos.
The workshop was organised by the Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) in collaboration with the NCC.
“We are looking at 2020 which is just about two years from now,” the executive vice-chairman said.
“One trial is taking place in the Atlantic City Lagos. We are working towards ensuring productivity and efficiency. We are putting in place infrastructure that would support 3G, 4G LTE and 5G.
“The benefits of this technology are archived by GSMA. They have been here to help us review licensing formulas – 2020 is the D-day of 5G in Nigeria.
“In the world we live in today, mobile communication is a cardinal tool of economic development, growth and integration, and the mobile industry is a key enabler of productivity across economies and societies.
“The mobile industry is not only a significant contributor to the economic activities of Nigeria, but also towards the growth of other sectors of the economy. The Nigerian Communications Commission has been, and continues to play a key role in the development of mobile communication in Nigeria, and I am delighted to be part of this event today.” He said
In his remark, Akinwale Goodluck, GSMA head of sub-Saharan Africa, said its organisation’s research has shown that the mobile market in Nigeria has made significant contribution to the economy.
Good luck said “The mobile industry contributed $21 billion to GDP in 2017, representing 5.5 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP. In addition, the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy resulted in the creation of nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs,”
“For Nigeria to take full advantage of the next phase of its digital transformation, it’s vital that collaboration between industry and government enables the right policy environment for millions more to benefit from ultra-fast mobile broadband.
“If policies don’t keep pace with the needs of society and technological innovation, there is a risk that citizens will be left behind and productivity and competitiveness will suffer.”
Goodluck said the report concludes that there is still broad scope for Nigeria to increase its mobile penetration.
“The GSMA has identified support for and release of harmonised spectrum and a modernised licensing framework as fundamental building blocks for Nigeria’s digital future
“The harmonisation of 1427-1518 MHz and 3.3–3.6 GHz makes them critically important bands for mobile operators seeking to offer new mobile services to consumers and businesses. A future-fit licensing regime will help promote market growth, boost investor confidence and enable increased connectivity.
“Building on the progress already achieved by the NCC, the GSMA recommends the following reforms in its report; retire the Digital Mobile Licence, the National Carrier Licence and the International Gateway Licence; eliminate superseded conditions in the Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) and migrate many others towards a supplementary general UASL conditions document or to parallel regulations.” He said