NCC: we’re 97% ready for 5G deployment

NEWS DIGEST – The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) has reaffirmed its readiness to deploy the Fifth Generation (5G) technology in the country.

It said its readiness for full implementation of the deployment of the technology is at 97 per cent.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami said the deployment of the technology will start during the first quarter of next year.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Garba Danbatta, spoke at the annual African Tech Alliance Forum (AfriTech 2021) held in Lagos with the theme: “Embracing changes and digital transformation in the new normal,”.

He said following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a change in the dynamics of people’s interaction, especially on the internet.

According to him, almost every means of communication has digital in one way or the other.

Danbatta stated that this paradigm shift in communication has led to significant increase in network connectivity requirements as a result of unprecedented upsurge in Internet traffic, occasioned by the use of a plethora of web applications such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, WebEx, Goto, Webner and so on.

He said this has made remote work, virtual meetings, virtual studies and virtual healthcare delivery, among others, the new normal.

According to him, even though the network infrastructure in the country has demonstrated some capacity to contain the surge in internet traffic, a lot of work is being done by the Commission to boost network capacity, sensitise the public and ensure accessibility to affordable connectivity during the period of the pandemic and beyond.

Focusing his presentation on “NCC as a Digital Transformation Crusader and Nigeria’s in-Road to 5G Deployment,” Danbatta said due to the network traffic demand, the NCC is working with operators to implement a number of initiatives to ensure network expansion.

These, he said, include ongoing plan to auction spectrum in 3.5 gigahertz (Ghz) band to operators for the deployment of 5G network in Nigeria.