Africa holds ace in 5G investments, NCC boss assures global community – Daily Sun

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Africa holds ace in 5G investments, NCC boss assures global community – Daily Sun

With a large number of 3.7 billion global unconnected population out of which 1.2 billion reside in Africa, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, yesterday told the global community that African continent holds the ace and that 5G is the next frontier of investment.

Danbatta stated this yesterday as a panelist on the topic, ‘5G Centre Play’, at the ongoing Intentional Telecommunications Union (ITU Telecom World 2019 in Budapest, Hungary.

With the representatives of global ICT giants, including Nokia, Orange, and AT&T among other panelists, Danbatta said 5G would provide a very veritable and convincing investment for investors. He, however, said that government alone could not do it. Hence he beckoned on the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities provided by 5G and invest in Africa which guarantees adequate returns on investment.

“We need to look at 5G usage scenarios, and there are three of them: The enhanced mobile broadband applications, the ultra-reliable low latency applications and the machine-to-machine applications. In our own part of the world, we are looking closely at these key areas of usage scenarios. The one that African countries will subscribe to quickly is the enhanced mobile broadband applications. The reason is that African countries are trying to roll out broadband infrastructure for broadband applications. So this will spur us on to ensure we put in place the necessary infrastructure,” he explained.

According to him, African nations are trying to reserve the spectrum for the roll- out of broadband services. “Specifically, in Nigeria, we are talking about three, 26, 38 and 42 GHz. These frequencies exist and we are not licensing it for other applications. We are waiting in anticipation for the standardisation process to be completed at the World Radio Communication (WRC) in Egypt. And then, we can see how we can go forward with the licensing processes in the three frequencies,” Danbatta added.

The NCC boss explained that the other step that African countries are taking is to address new forms of anxiety that is occasioned by this emerging technology, 5G. “There’s also the regulatory anxiety. And, therefore, to do that successfully like we had done in the past with every service we deployed, we start with a proof of concept trial. And preparations are underway for this important trial to take place.”

“The whole idea behind the trial is to be able to see what these challenges are. Security challenges levels of radiation, power density, whether this is within the acceptable limits provided for by the international non-ionization radio regulatory agencies as well as to ensure whatever factors that we need to come to terms with in preparatory to commercial deployment of services are identified in readiness for commercial roll out of services using 5G.”

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