NCC publishes consultation document for 5G deployment policy

12 Nov 2020

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has published a consultation document on plans for the deployment of 5G technology in the West African country and has invited feedback from industry stakeholders. The paper sets out the watchdog’s views regarding potential changes to the nation’s regulatory framework to address the unique challenges of 5G technology, the spectrum that will be made available for 5G, and a schedule for the rollout of the platform. Under the current plan, 5G spectrum auctions would take place in Q2 2021 and Q4 2021, with the airwaves assigned in Q1 2022 and commercialised by Q4 2022. The document suggests that the deployment of Standalone (SA) 5G should begin in late 2021, whilst the rollout of the Non-Standalone (NSA) variant would follow in early 2022.

On spectrum, the NCC identified the following ranges for the first phase of 5G deployment, alongside details of their current usage and plans for their release, recovery, refarming and/or replanning: 2100MHz band; 2300MHz-2400MHz; 2600MHz-2690MHz; 3300MHz-3400MHz; 3500MHz-3600MHz; 3600MHz-3700MHz; 4800MHz-4900MHz; 24.25GHz-27.5GHz; and 37.0GHz-43.5GHz. For the second phase of the rollout, meanwhile, the NCC noted that it would consider the release of some or all of the following bands, based on New Radio support, maturity and device availability: 1427MHz-1518MHz; 45.5GHz-47GHz; 47.2GHz-48.2GHz; and 66GHz-71GHz.