NCC boss harps on Africa’s 5G potentials

Africa has been described as a fertile ground for 5G Investment.

The Executive Vice Chairman,Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, sdisclosed this in a statement issued when he spoke as a panelist on the topic “5G Centre Play” at the ongoing International Telecommunications Union (ITU Telecom World 2019) holding in Budapest, Hungary.

He noted that government alone could not do it; hence it beckoned on the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities provided by 5G and invest in Africa, a continent which guaranteed 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.

“With a large number of 3.7 billion global unconnected populations, out of which 1.2 billion reside in Africa, the global community that African continent holds the ace and that 5G is the next frontier of investment.

“With the representatives of global ICT giants, including Nokia, Orange, and AT&T among other panelists, 5G will provide a very veritable and convincing investment for investors.

“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 said.

He said that African countries were going to take important step to address new forms of anxiety occasioned by the emerging 5G technology.

He, however, said that African nations were trying to reserve the spectrum for the roll out of broadband services.

Danbatta said though 26, 38 and 42 GHz existed in Nigeria, no plan to license them as frequencies for other applications.

He said the aim was also to ensure that whatever factorsNigeria needed to come to terms with preparatory to commercial deployment of services were identified in readiness for commercial roll out of services using 5G.”

Danbatta described the 5G journey as long complete standardisation and underway by the ITU, adding that  everybody looked forward to 2020 for standardisation to take root.

He said that panelists also agreed that satellite communications would complement terrestrial deployment of 5G services.

The ITU Telecom World 2019, which began on Sept. 9, will end Sept 12.