REMARKS OF THE SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR – PROF. ISA ALI IBRAHIM (PANTAMI), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, HONOURABLE MINISTER OF COMMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL ECONOMY, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.
5G: LMPLEMENTATION OF SPECTRUM AUCTION IN THE 3.5GHZ BAND AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA ON MONDAY, 13TH DECEMBER 2021
Protocols and Greetings.
I am delighted to give these special remarks as we move to the next phase of the implementation of the National Policy on 5G Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Econony with the 3.5GHz Spectrum Auction. 5G networks offer significant advantages over current technologies. Some of its advantage Include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater a device density longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility.
Distinguished stakeholders, ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a National 5G Policy for Nigeria’s Digital Economy on September 8, 2021. The approval process followed a very robust debate at the Council. The National Policy contains all the necessary information guiding the processes and procedures for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.
Among other mandates, the Policy stipulated the collaboration with relevant stakeholders and provision of the required spectrum and enabling environment to ensure full deployment of 5G. This will harness the social and economic benefits that come along with it, and will serve as a catalyst for the successful implementation of our National Digital Economy Development and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. The deployment of 5G will also support in the implementation of our National Broadband Plan.
We have already made a number of giant strides in the development of our digital economy and the deployment of 5G networks will further support our efforts. For example, it is worthy of note that, as at the 10th of December, 2021, we have exceeded the 70 million mark in unique NIN enrolments. You will recall that we had just over 40 million enrolments in
September, 2020. The additional enrolments, which are close to 30 million enrolments in a little over a year, constitute a truly great feat to the extent that other countries now want to learn from us.
Furthermore, the National Policy noted the key role of the National Frequency Management Council in the allocation of spectrum for the deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria. The NFMC is also to “ensure that the required spectrum for 5G standard is made available in the most appropriate and timely manner to enable investments, innovation, and competition in the deployment of 5G services for the benefit of consumers and businesses.”
As the Chairman of NFMC, I have ensured that this has been done and today’s meeting is result of the activities of the NFMC for the implementation of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). On the implementation of the National Policy, the NCC under my supervision, is saddled with the responsibility of developing strategies, standards, guidelines and frameworks for the deployment of the 5G networks nationwide.
Accordingly, to ensure a coordinated approach, the Commission has been directed to not only collaborate with relevant agencies under the Ministry, but with all other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Policy. In addition to these, the National Policy has been developed to achieve many other goals, a few amongst which are:
i to ensure effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban areas by 2025;
II. to ensure security of 5G ecosystem and the protection of data
III. ensure that international best practices and globally accepted standards and specifications are entrenched in Nigeria’s 5G ecosystem; and
iv. ensure that the required infrastructure needed for successful deployment of 5G networks such as data centres, power, etc, are catered for in deployment strategies of 5G networks.
The report of the 1st set of 5G-trials was critically reviewed and studied by stakeholders, with a view to understanding the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria. The review showed that 5G is safe for deployment in Nigeria and would not compromise our security as a country. This formed the basis for the development and eventual approval
of the National Policy.
Furthermore, leading international organizations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), organs of the United Nations, have so far confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks do not cause any adverse health effects and are safe.
Ladies and gentlemen, following the successful mock spectrum auctioning process on the 10th of December, we are very happy to have the actual 3.5GHz auctioning process today. You will agree with me that the successful bidders and all other stakeholders have played an important role and still have an important role to play in this journey towards using 5G to support our national economic development agenda. I have directed the NCC to monitor the process for the deployment of 5G networks in the country and provide comprehensive regular updates to my office.
On this note, it is my singular honour to officially declare this auctioning process open. l commend the Board and Management of the NCC, as well as all stakeholders on this landmark event.
Thank you all for your kind attention.
A SPEECH DELIVERED BY PROF. ADEOLU AKANDE, CHAIRMAAN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION AT 3.5GHz AUCTION THAT Held AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON ABUJA ON DECEMBER 13, 2021..
I am highly pleased and honoured to welcome you all to the 3.5GHz auction organized by Nigerian Communications Commission as part of its core mandate of regulating and managing the Nigerian Communications Sector. This auction process seeks to assign two (2) slots of Spectrum to operators based on the highest valuation of the spectrum on offer and through a competitive process with three (3) unique participants. It is worth noting that Spectrum auctions ensure the assignment of Spectrum through a transparent and competitive process which in most cases brings to bear on the true value of Spectrum.
The main objective of this auction is not just the offer of a premium frequency, it also aims to support the deployment of 5G in Nigeria, which has been identified as a critical factor for the growth of the national digital economy. The full socio- economic benefits of 5G technology 1s largely dependent on access to a variety of spectrum resources.
Consequently, Spectrum plays a strategic role in meeting the insatable demand for advanced mobile data services as well as a new wave of wireless broadband use cases such as remote object manipulation, industrial automation, virtual and augmented reality as well as next-generation connectivity for vehicles. These use cases will continue to increase the impact that mobile services have on societies and economies.
The impact of 5G technology on the economy of Nations is unprecedented, according to the year 2020 global edition of the GSMA’s flagship Mobile Economy’ Report, 5G 1s forecasted to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034.
These impacttul contributions will drive key industries such as manutacturing, utilities, professional and financial services. In fact several other fringe sectors will benefit immensely from the new technology. The importance of 5G technology to economy of Nations cannot be overemphasized. It is therefore with a sense of fulfilment that we acknowledge the giant leap forward that today’s auction represents. It is indeed a memorable milestone that Nigeria is set to auction Spectrum in the 3.5GHz for the deployment of 5G at this material time.
I commend the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for his unflinching support, the Board of Commissioners, Management and staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission for putting all of these together. I will also like to thank the bidders for believing in the Nigerian Communications Sector by their willingness to invest millions of dollars in the Sector for the provision of 5G services.
In NCC, we are committed to transparency and openness, which this auction represents. Therefore, we assure you of the openness and transparency of this process.
WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY PROF. U.G. DANBATTA FNSE, FRAES, FAEng., FNIEEE, EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN/CEO, NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION AT THE 3.5GHz SPECTRUM AUCTION
HELD AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL ABUJA ON DECEMBER 13, 2021
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this momentous auction that will herald a new era in mobile technology services deployment in Nigeria. Today’s auction is momentous in many regards and will usher Nigeria into the exclusive league of countries providing 5G service across the globe.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am particularly pleased to be associated with this auction process because when His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, brought us on board in the year 2015, we took a decision to reposition the Commission on a path that will ensure the uptake of all the opportunities that abound in the communications sector.
We committed ourselves to Deepen broadband penetration, protect the consumers and the smart deployment of infrastructure across the country. We further committed ourselves to strategically play our unique role in driving the digital economy to support the government’s
economic diversification agenda.
Consequently, we ensured the implementation of policies for effective communications resource management, strategic collaboration and partnership, facilitating broadband penetration and improvement of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience. Through these initiatives and efforts, the Commission ensured participation in International Telecommunication Union (ITU) activities and other international fora to keep abreast with global development in the Communications sector.
The Commission has also developed Strategic Vision Plan, Strategic Management Plan as well as implemented the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the National Digital Economy Plan and Strategy (NDEPS). These Plans were supported and facilitated by the immense contributions of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital economy Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
The Honourable Minister has been a driver and facilitator of all the initiatives of the
Commission and his leadership of the Sector has been an invaluable ingredient in all the attainments of the last two years.
At this juncture, we remember all the international engagements, particularly the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC -19), where hamonized Frequency Spectrum bands were allocated for the deployment of 5G technology.
Further to these allocations at the international level, approval was granted for 5G trial in
Nigeria in November, 2019 and following the favourable outcome, the approval of Nigeria 5G Deployment Policy was equally granted by the Federal Government on September 8, 2021.
Hence today’s auction represents a culmination off all the efforts at the international and national levels that have prepared Nigeria tor this momentous leap forward.
Therefore, in line with the 5G Deployment Policy and global best practices, the Commission has set in motion the process for the auction and will be offering two (2) lots in the 3.5GHz band with three (3) companies competing to acquire a licence for the available lots.
The auction is based on the powers bestowed on the Commission by Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 as well as the Licensing Regulations 2019.
Conclusively, I will ike to assure you of our commitment to a transparent and fair Auction process.
Once gain I welcome you all the 3.5GHz spectrum band auction.