The Federal Government has approved the deployment of the Fifth Generation Network, otherwise called 5G in Nigeria in phases.
The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) announced the approval after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
Following the approval, the Minister has directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to commence immediate implementation of the 5G plan for the country. The roll-out of the 5G will be carried out in phases beginning with major cities in the country “where there is need for high quality broadband,” the Honourable Minister has said.
The NCC will publish an implementation roadmap for the deployment of 5G across the country with service roll-out obligations. In addition, the Commission has been directed to commence the development of relevant regulatory instruments to address issues related to health, safety and others to drive effective implementation of the roll-out of 5G by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, will, in no distant time, release the 5G Spectrum to the NCC for auction to MNOs that will need the spectrum for 5G deployment.
The approval of the 5G Plan by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and the FEC is a major boost to Nigeria’s promising 5G Plan, which has the objectives of ensuring efficient assignment of spectrum for 5G deployment, creating an enabling environment for investment in the telecom industry, ensuring effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban cities by 2025, among others.
In line with the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a Digital Nigeria, and the positioning of Nigeria as an early adopter of digital technology in the growing global digital economy, the successful and timely deployment of 5G is crucial. 5G is expected to facilitate several emerging technologies, generate innovative use cases, spur significant socio-economic growth and create jobs.