By Favour Unukaso
THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it has played an effective role in placing the country at a vantage position to reap the immense benefits of the Fifth-Generation (5G) network.
The NCC noted that the Communications Sector is indeed the pace-setter sector as far as the expansion of the frontiers for national development is concerned, saying this was further underscored by the recent deployment of the 5G services in the country, which it believes will ensure that Nigeria maximises the benefit of the 4th Industrial Revolution whilst being sufficiently prepared for any attendant risk that may occur.
NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, who made reference to a market study, which showed that the deployment of 5G technology services will result in $13.2 trillion in global economic value by 2035 and generate 22.3 million jobs in the 5G global value chain alone, said Nigeria can reap huge benefits from it.
Adewolu spoke at a two-day NCC’s Talk-to-the-Regulator Stakeholders Consultative Forum (TTTR) in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.
The NCC ECSM said the Communications Sector has proven to be pivotal to the growth and development of the national economy. The sector has continually ensured that the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government is established on solid foundations. He added that It has also proven to be the catalyst for entrenching the activities of both the public and private sector in the digital space, seamlessly.
According to him, the industry is indeed the pace-setter sector as far as the expansion of the frontiers for national development is concerned.
Indeed, the NCC under the leadership of Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has licensed three operators since the country’s 5G journey began in 2021, however, only MTN has deployed the service on commercial bases and have expanded to 13 cities in the country. However, Mafab Communications and Airtel are still waiting for the right time to begin the service in Nigeria.
Speaking also at the TTTR forum, Danbatta, said that the commission is providing industry leadership to push broadband penetration in the country to well above 50 per cent at the end of this year.
Danbatta said the commission is also working assiduously to ensure that Nigeria achieves 90 per cent broadband penetration by the year 2025 in line with the Nigeria National Broadband Policy (NNBP2020-2025).
Highlighting some of the intervention to drive growth in the telecoms industry, Danbatta noted that currently, over I50 million Nigerians have access to the Internet, while over 80 million can access high-speed internet.
He added that the telecoms industry has witnessed milestones in more ways than one, including the rapid growth in technology, which is redefining service delivery, and creating wide and high expectations from all stakeholders. According to him, to keep up to date with developments in the industry, the Commission has equally taken measures to improve regulations to accommodate rapid and continuous development.
The EVC listed some of the interventions and responses of the Commission to include but not limited to: Facilitating the Roll-Out of 5G Service provision and; Introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licence to bridge the gap between unserved and underserved areas. He said the Commission is also currently reviewing the scope and structure of its existing licenses to make them more robust and to accommodate some of the identified new industry trends.
Danbatta described the TTTR forum as a common platform for non-discriminatory interaction on a one-on-one basis, between the licensees and the regulator on several industry issues, pertinent to the licensees and of national interest.