The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has identified the lack of electricity and fibre as some of the challenges that may hinder the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) across Nigeria.
“While 5G deployment will enhance the speed of the broadband Internet and change the business environment, electricity and inability to get fibre to home and offices across Nigeria will frustrate the acceleration of 5G,” said Engr. Bako Wakil, NCC’s Director, Technical Standard and Network Integrity at a special session on “Fifth Generation (5G) Networks Deployment: Socio-economic Benefits and Challenges at the ongoing Social Media Week.
Wakil explained that the current electricity structure in Nigeria cannot be used to run 5G technology as it rides on cells that must be deployed in every 50 meters and powered by electricity. “With the epileptic electricity supply in Nigeria, it is difficult to enjoy 5G technology, which many industry watchers and analysts believe has the capability to transform many cities in Nigeria to smart cities,” he stressed.
For fibre deployment, Wakil disclosed that the Nigerian Communications Commission has taken steps to ensure fibre get to every Local Government Area in the country. According to him, the Commission has already sealed a deal to deploy 10 Gigabytes capacity of fibre to the 774 LGAs in the country riding on the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.
The special panel session by NCC was sponsored to provide more information, education and knowledge required by telecom stakeholders and citizens, and to enable participants to raise critical questions that may be agitating their minds with regards to the relatively new 5G in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Communications Commission had disclosed that as it prepares the ground for 5G networks launch, it will continue to take several steps aimed at continuously improving the quality of service (QoS) both for voice and data services.
Some of the steps, according to the commission include monthly engagement sessions with operators on QoS, quarterly QoS Industry working group meeting, engagement with the Nigerian Governors Forum to align right of way charges with that agreed courtesy the National Economic Council resolution; and engagement with individual governors to reduce and eliminate the incidences of site shutdown by state government agencies.
The steps also include instituting benchmarking drive test across the country to measure performance of each operator in a given area and identify coverage gaps with a view to bridging them; instituting new QoS measurement mechanisms for assessing the QoS performance of operators to ensure measured performance more closely aligns with subscriber experiences across all states of the federation; deployment of QoS measurement systems at the Commission to enable near real-time assessment of QoS across the country from the Commission’s office, among others.