Tag Archives: Nigerian Communications Commission

NCC set for mobile 5G trial

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed it is ready to roll out fifth-generation (5G) mobile broadband licensing.

Umar Garba Danbatta

Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the NCC, told the International Telecommunication Union’s Telecom World event in Budapest, Hungary, that the 26, 38 and 42GHz spectrum frequencies have been reserved for 5G.

“We are waiting in anticipation for the standardisation process to be completed at the World Radio Communication in Egypt and then we can see how we can go forward with licensing process in the three frequencies,” he said.

“The other important step that African countries are taking is to address new forms of social anxiety occasioned by this emerging technology, 5G. There’s also the regulatory anxiety. Therefore, to do that, because of the practice we had in the past, every service we deploy is normally preceded by proof-of-concept trials. And 5G is not an exception.

“This is ongoing in Nigeria. The steps we are taking during the trials will involve the security agencies, who have a say on the security dimension of this new technology when it’s eventually rolled out. So we want to ensure they are fully involved.”

The NCC boss said the 5G roll-out will enhance broadband mobile services in various countries as well as address the anxiety of citizens by giving information about this important new technology.

“Whether all African countries will be ready by 2020 for the roll-out of commercial 5G services is something I cannot answer immediately, but I know our state of readiness is such that spectrum is being reserved in many countries and many are also doing trials. Nigeria is getting ready to do this trial.

“In Nigeria, we have divided the country into seven zones, and each has been assigned an infrastructure company to deploy broadband infrastructure.”

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NCC, NigComSat told to get ISO certified

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) have been directed by the federal government to achieve the International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.

Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami

Speaking at a National Information and Technology Agency (NITDA) event in Abuja, communications minister Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami said the certification gives an organisation credibility and global recognition.

“The agencies under this ministry should stop the old ways of doing things and start taking their mandates to the next level. Heads of the agencies should make their staff understand that they could lose their jobs if they perform below standard,” he said.

“ISO certification changes the perception of staff of any agency that has received it. I saw this myself when I was in NITDA and it has been testified to by many people. I believe these is no single staff of NITDA that this certification has not changed significantly.”

Pantami added that he was glad more companies and public institutions in Africa were getting ISO certifications.

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TV, radio licensing stirs mixed feelings

The recent move by Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari to license radio and television stations has sparked a mixed reaction.

Lai Mohammed

While some commentators support the development, saying it will sanitise the online space and stop incendiary web-broadcast sites from fanning the embers of hate and division, others feel the move is inherently wrong.

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, defended the move, which is part of wide-ranging reforms of the broadcasting industry. “Web TVs and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry,” he said.

Online radio and television stations, known as over-the-top (OTT) services, are accessed by most internet users today. The Nigerian Communications Commission is under pressure about how and when to regulate OTT players, which have been described as a serious threat to traditional telecoms operators.

Although the NCC has repeatedly claimed that it will not regulate technology, stakeholders have called on the organisation to look for ways to curb the growing influence of OTT players such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Wechat, Telegram, Viber, Skype and Imo.

Umar Danbatta, the NCC’s executive vice chairman and CEO, has urged mobile operators to restructure their business models to increase revenue in the face of challenges raised by OTT services.

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NCC names public affairs director

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has named an existing exec as its new director of public affairs.

Henry Chukwudumeme Nkemadu

Dr Henry Chukwudumeme Nkemadu’s appointment comes at a crucial time, with the regulator upping the ante in terms of its oversight of the Nigerian media industry, according to NCC executive vice-chairman Umar Garba Danbatta.

Nkemadu first joined the NCC in 2003 as its principal business development manager, handling proposals on capacity-building initiatives in liaison with international agencies.

He has worked in a variety of roles for the NCC, including a stint as head of special intervention projects. He also holds multiple degrees from universities in Nigeria and the US,.

“Dr Henry has had a rewarding opportunity of traversing the entire telecom regulatory ecosystem, which experience he will find handy as the new spokesman of the commission,” Danbatta said.

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