Executive Vice President (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Omar Danpatta said in Lagos on Tuesday that the Commission’s efforts to auction available spectrum for 5G services in Nigeria in a timely manner are primarily driven by the quest to join the global community in the advancement of digital services. and promoting high-quality telecommunications infrastructure for the benefit of citizens, rather than through the need to attract revenue to the government.
Danpata, speaking to a cross section of industry players at the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, during the stakeholder advisory forum on the draft information memorandum for the 3.5GHz spectrum auction hosted by the Commission, said there is a need for stakeholders to understand the real vision of the Commission to provide the state with the latest The technologies and services that are the focus of efforts to roll out 5G services nationwide.
“I want to throw out the minds of those who feel that the NCC’s goal of auctioning the first and second rounds of 5G spectrum bands is to generate money for the federal government. This is not true.
“The primary consideration is not to generate funds for the Federal Government but mainly to ensure the deployment of 5G services that promote a better life for Nigerians and the growth of the economy of the nation as a whole through the provision of quality high-speed internet services that increase productivity and efficiency across sectors.
“For those familiar with developments in the industry, the Commission’s proactive regulatory approach in crossing Nigeria from 1G to 2G, 3G, 4G and now to 5G has resulted in remarkable social and economic developments, transforming lives of businesses and businesses.
“This clarification is very important at this stage to put an end to insinuations and misconceptions being circulated in some quarters. Our aim is to digitally transform Nigeria and Nigerians into a leading digital economy, not only in Africa but globally, and where telecoms continues to be a major enabler and contributor to the country’s economic growth.
Danbatta also explained the rationale behind conducting an auction in the second round of 5G spectrum sales. According to him, after the successful auction of the first two pieces of 5G spectrum in December 2021, the committee received applications to administratively license the remaining pieces with the specified fee that the first two pieces were auctioned.
However, the Commission, in the exercise of its powers under the Nigerian Telecommunications Act 2003, decided to license available lots in the 3.5 GHz band through auction method, a transparent and effective approach that could open up opportunities for new entrants as well as deepen competition in the industry.
“The Commission has allocated enormous resources to ensure that harmonized spectrum is secured and released in a timely manner in order to roll out current and future services that will unlock the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), including International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2020) services.
“We have kept ourselves abreast of developments in international fora, including ITU-R Study Groups to enable strategic spectrum allocation for IMT services and in particular IMT-2020 which has been at the forefront in the last two ITU-R Study Groups,” EVC explained.
“Hence, it is important that we ensure the timely release of the spectrum bands needed to deploy 5G in the industry to enable us to reap the immediate and perceived benefits of 5G technology and facilitate the development of Nigeria’s digital economy to boost national growth,” he said.
Representatives of carriers, media and other stakeholders provided additional input on the IM draft in addition to the comments and input already received via correspondence prior to the start of the forum. Executive Commissioner for Technical Services at the National Council for Coordination Eng. Ubale Maska, who is also the auction advisor, also reminded stakeholders in the forum that the Commission will continue to receive feedback until the end of the work on November 17, 2022, before publishing the final instant message that will guide the auction process on November 18. 2022.
The Commission has developed a draft Information Memorandum (IM) for the auction for the 3.5 GHz band, which was posted on its website on 21 October 2022, to enable stakeholders to review and provide input and comments. A forum on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, in Lagos, was to discuss the draft document and take input from stakeholders to enrich the quality of the document for the auction process and towards effective management and utilization of this important spectrum resource in line with global best practices.
5G Auction Driven by Pursuit of Better Quality of Life, Not Revenue – NCC President, Danbatta