The Nigerian Communications Commission has disclosed that it is working on ensuring the availability of spectrum to boost broadband deployment and penetration in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Dambatta, who made this known during the 14th Annual Technology Africa Leadership Roundtable, added that spectrum was a critical mobile infrastructure, which would enhance broadband penetration.
The event was themed “Broadband, Big Data, Cyber Security, Local Content, and Infrastructure Protection: Catalyst for Economic Growth and National Development”.
While stressing that the Commission is determined to provide the required frequency spectrum capacity, Danbatta assured that it is facilitating the re-farming of existing spectrum held by operators to provide broadband services.
Spectrum re-farming is the process of re-deploying spectrum from available users and re-allocating it to others.
According to the vice-chairman, there is limited spectrum bandwidth in the country, hence, the need for the re-farming. Dambatta said that the regulatory body would re-farm the spectrum without impacting on the operators’ Quality of Service (QoS) delivery.
“Broadband is a productivity-enabling technology; hence, optimal deployment of broadband infrastructure via the Infraco model in the face of existing broadband infrastructure challenges is critical to driving broadband availability, accessibility, and affordability in Nigeria.
“The availability of broadband infrastructure will unlock new opportunities and drive the second wave of growth in the telecommunications industry and the economy after the exponential growth of voice service. “Telecoms’ contribution to the economy (10.11 percent to GDP in Q1 2019) is significant and will continue to grow.
“The process for new spectrum auctions and assignments to drive mobile and wireless broadband is ongoing’’.
He pointed out that the Commission was in the process of auctioning and assigning the Digital Dividend (700 megahertz) for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage requirements and the 2.5/2.6 gigahertz spectrum auction for 4G LTE capacity requirements.