NCC signs MoU with NigComSat to free up spectrum for 5G

6 May 2021

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigerian Communications Satellite (NigComSat) to enable the rollout of 5G services in the West African country. The agreement will lead to the freeing up of spectrum in the 3.5GHz-3.9GHz range which is currently used by NigComSat satellites, but will be reallocated to mobile operators for the deployment of 5G networks.

‘For optimal 5G service performance, an average of contiguous 100MHz of spectrum in the C-band is required by an operator. However in Nigeria, only 120MHz of the band (3.4GHz-3.52GHz) is available for mobile services while the remaining 680MHz (3.52GHz-4.2GHz) of the band is used by NigComSat (NG-1R) satellites,’ commented Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC Umar Garba Danbatta, adding: ‘The two agencies have been in discussions on how to relocate the operations of NG-1R to the standard C-band 300MHz (3.9GHz-4.2GHz) potion of the band, which is more suitable in terms of satellite service offering because end user terminal are cheaper there, while leaving the non-standard C-band 400MHz (3.5GHz-3.9GHz) portion of the band for 5G use. The cost of relocating the NG-1R is expected to be offset from the proceeds of the auction of the 5G spectrum.’