The Nigerian Communications Commission has said Nigeria’s 5G plan will allow efficient allocation of spectrum for 5G deployment, and ensure its effective deployment in major urban cities by 2025.
The commission also disclosed that the much anticipated mock auction of the 5G spectrum for qualified telecommunication companies would hold on Friday, in preparation for the main auction scheduled for Monday December 13, 2021.
These were disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, at a capacity building workshop themed, ‘5G Deployment and the Next Level of Nigeria’s Development’, organised by the commission in Kano on Tuesday.
He said, “It is expected that the roll-out of the 5G will be carried out in phases beginning with major cities in the country where there is a need for high-quality broadband.”
According to him, the commission will carry out its mock auction of the 5G in on Friday, December 10, 2021, adding that this will be preparation for the main auction, scheduled to hold on Monday December 13, 2021, in Abuja.
He said, “It is expected that the two slots to be auctioned will be picked up by successful bidders at the end of the auction on Monday, December 13, and following that, the stage will be set for the next phase of 5G roll-out commencing in 2022.”
According to the commission’s ‘Information Memorandum on 3.5 GHz Spectrum Auction’, about 12 states will enjoy 5G services within 2022 and 2023.
The NCC said, “Year One to Two starting from the effective date of the licence. Rollout service in at least two states in each geo-political zone: South-West, South-South, South-East, North-Central (Including the Federal Capital Territory), North-West and North-East.
“Year Three to Five, additional six states other than those in Year One to Two, across the six geo-political zones. Year Six to 10, operators are encouraged to roll out across all other States.”
According to the NCC, it may be until 2028 and 2032 before every region of Nigeria enjoys 5G services.
Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, has cautioned the Federal Government against engaging high-risk telecommunications suppliers to participate in or control any part of the fifth-generation network.
Leonard gave this warning on Tuesday, at the 2021 International Legislative-Stakeholders’ Conference on Digital Technology and Cybersecurity organised by the Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime alongside the National Information Technology Development Agency.
She said, ““This is a particularly timely issue for Nigeria, as Nigeria prepares for next week’s 5G spectrum auction and looks to roll out Nigeria’s 5G networks after the New Year. We believe it is essential that governments, telecom operators, and network users prioritize security when building out their 5G networks.
“National measures must be crafted to mitigate significant security risks from high-risk suppliers regardless of national origin by precluding such suppliers from providing equipment software and services to 5G network infrastructure.
Also speaking, Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who was represented by Senator Hassan Hadejia, raised concerns over the spate of insecurity in cyberspace, stating that there was an urgent need to protect the nation from the dangers it portends.