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The federal government has approved the clearing of the C-band spectrum to speed up the deployment of 5G services across the country.
C-Band refers to radio frequency bands between 4 and 8GHz, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). It is a radio spectrum that telecommunication companies use to improve the performance and reach of 5G wireless networks.
In May, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited would commence the rollout of 5G services effective from August 24, 2022.
In a statement on Thursday, Femi Adeluyi, technical assistant, research and development to the minister of communications and digital economy, said the approval came after the minister, Isa Pantami, presented three memos at the federal executive council (FEC) meeting.
He also said FEC approved an enterprise licensing agreement for Microsoft Products to minimise information technology (IT) costs in public institutions.
“The Government-wide enterprise licensing agreement for Microsoft products is a software acquisition cost-reduction strategy for the government to be implemented by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), as part of the federal government’s efforts towards keeping the cost of IT projects within sustainable levels,” the statement reads.
“The agreement will give the government access to discounted prices and other cost benefits, as well as reduce project duplication across Federal Public Institutions (FPIs). It will also guarantee proper technical support for Microsoft products and services, thereby ensuring protection against cybersecurity threats, which will guarantee the availability and reliability of government IT services.
“The enterprise licensing agreement will provide a projected savings of a minimum of 35 percent of the government’s current investment in Microsoft products and services. This will not only substantially reduce the cost of license procurement for FPIs, it will reduce and simplify licensing complexity, facilitate accounting and cash flow predictability and monitor utilisation and impact of government investment.”
“Furthermore, with seven and a half years before the end of the lifetime of NigComSat-1R Satellite, operated by Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), which currently operates C-band services on the 3.4GHz to 3.9GHz spectrum range, NCC and NIGCOMSAT have come to an agreement to relocate/migrate the operations of NigComSat-1R C Band service to another frequency (Standard C Band) and release its current frequency for immediate deployment of 5G in the country.
Adeluyi also said that the approved memos are to accelerate the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), especially the pillars on solid infrastructure (broadband) and service infrastructure (platforms).
He added that the ministry would continue to promote initiatives that will transform Nigeria into a country with a sustainable and thriving digital economy.
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