The Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) has given the leadership of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) a pat on the back for setting the pace of 5G deployment in Africa.
The Engineering body in a statement signed by its outgoing National Chairman, Engr. Kings Adeyemi, singled out Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta and the entire management staff of the Commission for accolades.
“Major requirements for 5G journey include spectrum availability, investor-friendly regulatory policy and stakeholders’ awareness. Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) engaged relevant stakeholders ahead of the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) approval of the Development of a Policy for Deployment of 5G in Nigeria,” he stressed.
“We use this medium to commend the entire Management of NCC under the leadership of the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Engr. Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta FNSE, FRAES, FAEng, FNIEEE. NCC demonstrated high level qualities of a world-class regulator indeed by setting the wheel of 5G in motion, from 5G Proof of Concept (PoC) trial in 2019 to the recently successful auction of 5G spectrum on 3.5GHz band”, the statement reads.
To put things into perspective, the respected body observed that it is worth noting that “this remarkable landmark achievement was attained by NCC at a time when COVID-19 pandemic continues to force the postponement of many highly anticipated 5G spectrum auctions throughout the world”.
Commending the in-house professionals within the Commission for the choice of 3.5 – 3.6 GHz and 3.7 – 3.8GHz. Engr Adeyemi noted that Frequencies in the range 3.3 – 4.2 GHz (3GPP Band 78) are being used as the basis for the first implementations of 5G globally.
“This decision allays the fear of 5G services interfering with the aircraft operations as currently exercised in some countries. NCC’s choice on the 3.5 GHz band has sufficiently safeguarded civil aircraft altimeters which usually operate between 4.2 – 4.4 GHz range,” he explains.
Speaking further, the Chairman said: “from expert’s perspective, the choice of two (2) slots of 100 MHz (TDD) bandwidth each on 3.5 GHz band (precisely 3GPP Band 78) is a highly laudable choice to launch 5G network.
Such wide channel bandwidth, according to him, is required to deliver the multi-Gbps data speed required of a 5G network.
“It is technically proven that wider channels lower network density which ripples into lowering the cost of 5G services to consumers. Other advantages include less base stations sites and lower environmental impact. The 3.5 GHz band is the best choice to balance capacity and network coverage which in turn encourages operators to commit investment in 5G infrastructure,” he observed.