NCC issues final 5G spectrum license letters to MTN and Mafab


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On Monday, December 13, 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced that it had issued final letters of award for the Fifth Generation (5G) Spectrum Licences to MTN and Mafab Communications, winners of the 3.5GHz spectrum auction.

A statement from the Commission's Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, was presented at a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners on April 20 and 21 of this year.

The two licensees are now expected to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks, ushering Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a more digitalized Nigerian economy following the issuance of the final letters of award of the 5G spectrum following the Auction's Information Memorandum (IM).

It is envisaged that licensees will begin rolling out 5G services on August 24, 2022, following the license's terms and conditions.

There would be a lot of benefits and prospects for growth and smart living in the country if the 5G network is implemented. Among other things, the technology is supposed to increase network speed, mobility, and capacity and reduce latency.

NFMC Chairman Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami officially handed over the spectrum allocation for 5G deployment and the Federal Government-approved National Policy on 5G to the Commission on February 22, 2022, following a thorough and transparent auction of 3.5GHz on December 13, 2021, which was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

As a result, the Commission certified on February 24, 2022, that the two spectrum winners had paid the full $273.6 million each, including the spectrum assignment fee, for the 5G spectrum license.

There is a belief among the Commission that the implementation of Nigeria's National Policy on 5G will lead to faster implementation of national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, and other sectoral policies designed to improve Nigeria's digital transformation.

Licensees must adhere to the NCC's timeframe for completing their 5G network rollout responsibilities. Still, to alter the nation's economy, the NCC relies on both the private sector and the government's collaborative efforts and assistance.

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