The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed plans to seek broadband deployment in the telecommunication sector.In this regard, it is pursuing the release of a 60-gigahertz (Ghz) spectrum band from the National Frequency Management Commission (NFMC) for operators in the sector.The release of the spectrum is expected to among other things, help the commission to address the growing demands by operators.
The NCC Director of Spectrum Administration, Austine Nwaulune, explained: “Though, the licence is not yet being utilised in Nigeria, as it is the case in United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America, we are pushing for the release of the unlicenced spectrum to enhance broadband delivery.”This, he said, would also “ease the pressure on currently utilised spectrum resources, and is desirable for applications that require high transmission broadband and high data transmission security.
“When the spectrum is eventually released, companies interested in using it don’t need to pay for its usage, but only apply for its use. They would only come into the spectrum, use it and then notify us.” Nwaulune said the commission has already made a request for the spectrum, which is not restricted, but used for anything that technologies allow a company to do.
While broadband penetration fluctuates between 21 and 22 per cent, the commission said the spectrum would address the growing demands by operators for data centric, high speed and high capacity links for metropolitan environment.It would also assist the commission to drive the national wireless access (NWA) initiative in the country.
The NCC expressed commitment that the release of the frequency spectrum, also known as V-Band, would make it possible for it to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetration by the end of 2018.He stressed that some forms of control are still needed to ensure that standards and guidelines are complied with.
Earlier at a consultative forum on the process yesterday, the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Dambatta, explained the importance of the radio frequency spectrum.
He said it is the fundamental resource for the provision of wireless communication services, leading to the opening of the 60Ghz band.
It is also useful for the presentation of draft regulatory framework for amateur radio services in the country. Represented by the Director, Research and Development at the commission, Abigail Solanke, he said the forum was organised in line with the NCC’s eight-point agenda.He added that it is also a traditionally institutionalised policy to ensure participatory regulation, by conducting industry-wide consultation with all relevant industry stakeholders.