5G: Nigeria marks educational, 3 other zones for priority coverage

The Nigerian telecoms regulator says educational institutions and four other zones have been marked for priority coverage by 5G operators as the country moves towards next month’s spectrum auctions for the deployment of the fifth-generation mobile technology.

To encourage broadband expansion across the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission last month offered two remaining bouquets of 3.5GHz spectrum bands at a reserve price of $273.6 million per licence in the 5G auction holding December 19 in Abuja, according to the telecoms umpire. 

The incoming 5G operators are required to deliver “a minimum speed of 100 Mbps Downlink (DL) measured using the applicable test tools,” which NCC says must consider “industrial areas, educational, medical and financial institutions within the State.” 

5g-nigeria-marks-educational-zones-priority
People seen selling mobile phones at Ikeja Computer Village in Lagos, Nigeria: Nigeria says that it has marked educational and other zones for priority coverage as the country heads toward another round of licensing holding next month in Abuja.

The incoming 5G operators are required to deliver “a minimum speed of 100 Mbps Downlink (DL) measured using the applicable test tools,” which NCC says must consider “industrial areas, educational, medical and financial institutions within the State.” 

NCC: Inside Nigeria’s 5G rollout plan

The 5G spectrum winners are expected to launch commercial service not later than 12 months after “the effective date of the licence,” NCC says.

Under the plan, the regulator says that each successful bidder shall be assigned the 3.5 GHz spectrum licence and the UASL (unified access service licence) where applicable and shall roll out services as follows: 

  1. Year 1 to 2 Starting from the effective date of the licence. Rollout service in at least two States in each geo-political zone of the country: South-West (SW), South-South (SS), South-East (SE), North-Central (NC) including FCT, North-West (NW) and North-East (NE). 
  2. Year 3 to 5 Additional 6 States other than those in Year 1 to 2, across the six geo-political zones. 
  3. Year 6 to 10 Operators are encouraged to roll out across all other States.

The 5G licensing rounds form part of policies and initiatives implemented by the telecoms regulator that have stimulated the growth and development of the communications sector in Nigeria, NCC says.

“As a result,” the the telecoms regulator says, “significant progress have been made leading to large increases in mobile subscriptions, internet and broadband penetration engendered by the competitive environment in the sector.” 

According to NCC, “in its drive to deepen broadband penetration in the country, the Commission in December 2021, conducted an auction for two (2) Lots of 100 MHz TDD (3500 – 3600 MHz and 3700- 3800 MHz) in the 3.5 GHz band to support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services. The Commission is now desirous of auctioning the remaining two (2) Lots of 100 MHz TDD (3400 – 3500 MHz and 3600 – 3700 MHz) in the 3.5 GHz band to further support the delivery of ubiquitous broadband services in line with the NNBP 2020- 2025.”