Technology

Nigeria Issues 5G Licence to MTN, Mafab Communications

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has confirmed the issuance of final letters of award of the Fifth Generation (5G) Spectrum Licences to MTN and Mafab Communications, winners of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum auction conducted by the Commission on December 13, 2021.

With the issuance of the licence, both operators are set for 5G network rollout anytime soon.

The CEO of MTN, Mr. Karl Toriola, had penultimate week, said the telecoms company had commenced 5G infrastructure rollout on its existing network nationwide and would roll out 5G services by next quarter of the
year.

The Management of NCC, led by its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, confirmed the issuance of 5G licence to the Board of Commissioners at the Board’s special meeting, which took place on Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21, 2022 where they considered update from management on the status of the spectrum auction.

A statement issued by NCC yesterday and signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, read: “With the issuance of the final letters of awards of 5G spectrum and in line with the 5G auction’s Information Memorandum (IM), the two licensees are now expected to accelerate deployment of 5G network that will usher Nigeria into a more robust Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a more digitised Nigerian
economy among the comity of nations.

“In line with the terms and conditions of the 5G licence, the licensees are expected to commence rollout of 5G services, effective from August 24, 2022.”

The statement further added: “The 5G network, when deployed, will bring a lot of benefits and opportunities that will engender accelerated growth and smart living in the country.

“The technology is also expected to bring substantial network improvements, including higher connection speed, mobility and capacity, as well as low-latency capabilities.”

Following a transparent and credible auction of 3.5GHz on December 13,2021, the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, had, on February 22, 2022, officially handed over the spectrum allocation for 5G deployment as well as the federal government-approved National Policy on 5G to the Commission.

Subsequently, the Commission had on February 24, 2022, confirmed the full payment of $273.6 million each by the two spectrum winners, in addition to spectrum assignment fee paid by MTN, for the 5G spectrum
licence.

The NCC is optimistic that effective implementation of the National Policy on 5G would accelerate the actualisation of the national targets in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, as well as other sectoral policies designed to enhance Nigeria’s digital transformation.

While the licensees are expected to meet the timetable regarding their 5G network rollout obligations, the NCC has called for the collective efforts and support of the private-sector and government towards transforming every aspect of the nation’s economy through 5G, which it said, would herald greater transformation than what the nation witnessed with the 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.

UK Firm Targets 70 Million Nigerians in $500m Medical, Hospitality Investment A United Kingdom (UK) based firm, HP Kapital Limited and the FHT Ventures Plc on Tuesday in Abuja, unveiled a multi-billion-naira
development-driven intervention plans.

The firms said their target was to empower 70 million youths in Nigeria and put an end to medical tourism by wealthy Nigerians.

The Chairman of HP Kapital UK, Mr. Nandishwar Kaushal, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja.

He said $500 million had been sourced from the World Bank and other global development institutions as take-off fund.

He explained that the entire plan was all about rebuilding Nigeria by making necessary interventions in critical areas like youth unemployment and medical tourism.

Kaushal said, “Nigeria for several years now, has not been fully supported the way it deserves, particularly in the area of youth empowerment or engagement in World class medical centres where any form
of health challenge could be attended to.

“In addressing the challenges in the two areas mentioned, hectares of land have been secured in Abuja, Lagos, Bauchi, Enugu and Niger states for the establishment of world class hospitals and tertiary institutions
with technology and skills – driven curriculum.

“The Hospitals in plan would be anchored on self – sustainability in terms of electricity supply and operationally holistic in terms of medical and health care service delivery with inclusion of natural herbal medicine.

“For the teeming unemployed youths in the country, empowerment programmes in the areas of Agriculture, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among others, will be carried out.

“About 10 million youths will become entrepreneurs while 60 million others would be gainfully engaged.

“The intervention plan will also help government at various levels to practically address the 20 million housing deficit in the country with building of affordable houses for the needy,” he said.

Making further explanations to the intervention plans, the Chairman of FHT Ventures, Mr. Olubunmi Faboro said required collaborations with relevant government agencies had been established.

“Relevant government agencies have been contacted and keyed into the plans,” he said.

Disclosing the level of such collaborations, Mr. Osita Opara, a chartered broker and projects coordinator for the intervention plans, said 18 hectares of land had been secured for the World Class Hospital at the Guzape area of Abuja.

He added that an additional 13 hectares of land had also been secured in the Guzape extension, for hotels, malls and offices. Others, according to him, were, 30 hectares of land in Lagos, 1.7 hectares of land in Central Business District Abuja for the building of a 22-Storey structure with residential , hotel and offices.

“No issue with land allocations as far as the planned intervention projects are concerned,” he said. The President of Youth Coalition in Nigeria, Ambassador Abdulmumini Ibrahim was at the World press conference on behalf of 70 million Nigerian Youth .

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