The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that it is hopeful that 5G services will be available by the fourth quarter of this year in the country.

Mr Usman Aliyu, Head, Spectrum Administration, NCC, disclosed this while speaking on the 5G deployment at a capacity building workshop organised for ICT journalists by the Commission in Abuja, last week.

He said cleaning of the bands is ongoing with the migration of the FSS users from 3.4-3.8 GHz spectrum following the ratification of the use of Nigerian Communications Satellite by the National Frequency Management Council.

When deployed, he said, a lot of services would be enhanced with resultant effects on the economic growth of the nation in the areas of education, health, financial services and improvement on the quality of services.

With the successful auction of the 5G spectrum last year, Aliyu said Nigeria became the first country in Africa to successfully conduct a full 5G spectrum auction without the services of a consultant and first software auction to be conducted since 2001.

“The 5G auction committee was constituted, Information Memorandum (IM) was developed, consultation on memorandum carried out, key stakeholders responded, corrections were made on IM before auction.

“Five options were made and two were made available. Hopefully, by Q4 this year, we should have 5G services in the country.

“The current status involves inflation and increase in exchange rate that affects cost of services, quality and adequate power supply, relocating of services, guard band provision, coordination with neighbouring countries,” he said.

It will be recalled that the 5G spectrum auction of 3.45 GHz spectrum was conducted in late 2021 and went through 11 rounds which exceeded the revenue projection from the reserve price of $199,374,000.

The auction process came to an end when MTN and Mafab posted an exit bid of $273 million, while Airtel posted a final bid of $270 million.

The auction generated proceeds of $22.5 billion in total.

Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, the Director of Public Affairs of NCC, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to maintaining the age-long tradition of mutually beneficial relationship with the media.

He said that the meeting, in a sense, amplifies a continuation age-long tradition of maintaining strong and mutually beneficial relationships with the media as partners of the Commission and appreciated the contributions of the media to visibility of the Commission as well as the development of the Nigerian telecom sector.

Adinde said, “The NCC recognises the importance of NITRA as a strategic ally. This accounts for why the Commission has, on several occasions, provided capacity building and training for members of NITRA with the aim of providing the platform for equipping NITRA as its stakeholders and partners from the media with the knowledge and skill required to do their jobs effectively, efficiently and in the most professional manner.”

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