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‘NCC still consulting with National Assembly on telecoms infrastructure bill’

…As MTN concludes 5G Demos in Lagos after Abuja, Calabar

The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has reassured lead players in the nation’s telecoms sector that the Commission is still consulting with the National Assembly on fast tracking the delivery of the National Infrastructure Bill.

Speaking at the Lagos edition of the MTN Nigeria demo of 5G in partnership with Ericsson, the EVC, represented by the Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Mr Henry Ojiokpota, said the bill is approaching the final stage.

According to him, “Once the bill is signed into law, telecom infrastructure across the country would be adequately protected.”

“We will continue to consult with the National Assembly on the national infrastructure bill and it is in the final stage.  Hopefully, when it is signed, and it becomes active, the infrastructure will be protected,” he added.

On the exploits of the telecom giant regarding the Demo launch of 5G Network, NCC boss averred that “5G remained the key to the future that would support significantly faster mobile broadband speeds, which is one of the commission’s agenda.

“The 5G represents the bedrock of future communications and Nigeria cannot afford not to be part of that future. The NCC is excited about what MTN is doing today because they are actually opening up the future,

“5G will boost capacity, it will help a lot of homes…it is going to reduce traffic on our road as people will have access to high-speed internet

“To us, 5G is a welcome idea and development. We are encouraging competition and efficient use of spectrum.

“NCC is looking at rolling out infrastructure sharing regulation, which is still at the draft stage where all these issues of spectrum will be resolved.

“This will help operators to lease spectrum to one another and that will help to move the industry forward.

“5G is key and the future and you cannot afford not to be part of the future. That is why NCC is excited with what MTN is doing today because they are actually opening up the future.

Industry observers say the commercial launch of 5G would support businesses’ innovative ambitions and create new markets, transform supply chain management as well as create smarter and more efficient manufacturing.

Yello 5G underway

Giving insights on what the 5G demo is about, Senior Manager for Planning, MTN, Nasiru Hayatu, said “With 5G and the rest, we believe that, the government will give us spectrum, in these higher layers, where there is, available bandwidth”, Nasiru observed. He further stated that, the government has made the spectrum available for MTN, to try, in the next three months, before full implementation.

“We are showing, by this demonstration that, it is workable, capable and we are sending a report, back to NCC, to ratify the spectrum level”, he stated.

According to Nasiru, the discussion on 5G is, not limited to Nigeria alone, as governments around the world, are beginning to make concerted efforts, towards what spectrum, would be suitable, for the smooth running of the 5G network.

“The availability is there, but the ecosystem of the spectrum is also driven by what other people are using around the world, stressing that “There are incentives, for telecom manufacturers, to produce equipment, in that space to boost the availability of the 5G network.

While agreeing that the needed equipment that would enhance the 5G is not yet in abundance, Nasiru believed that as 5G ecosystem builds up, devices will become cheaper, thus making the 5G, less expensive to operate.

He however noted that “We believe that, in the next one to two years, with the harmonisation, coming from the spectrum’s perspective, the ecosystem, will build up, therefore, devices on 5G, become cheaper.