Africa holds the ace in 5G investments, NCC boss assures global community


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.

Prof Danbatta spoke 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 will provide a very veritable and convincing investment for investors.

He, however, said that government alone cannot 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 3 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 for this is that, African countries are trying to roll out broadband infrastructure for broadband applications. So this will spurs 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 standardization 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 3 frequencies, Prof Danbatta added.


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