The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has charged the Bayelsa State Government to revisit the Right of Way (RoW) charges imposed by the State on telecom operating companies and other issues capable of encumbering faster deployment of infrastructure in the State.
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, reiterated this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from Bayelsa State to the Management of NCC in Abuja recently.
Danbatta said, “This will boost digital infrastructure rollout in towns and communities in Bayelsa State and environs for effective economic diversification. The digital economy rides on broadband and ICT infrastructure and one of the factors inhibiting access to telecommunication infrastructure is RoW administration by States and other state actors.”
Danbatta who also expressed the Commission’s readiness to collaborate with the Bayelsa State Government in accelerating telecommunications infrastructure deployment, digital literacy and skills in the State.
Stating the purpose of the visit to the Commission, Bayelsa State’s Commissioner for Communications, Science and Technology, Dr. Promise Ekio Ekio, who led the delegation, said Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is one of the critical areas that the state government has identified for priority to accelerate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the State in order to bolster employment for the youths of the state and to nudge their interest in digital culture.
Ekio said that while the plan to leverage ICT for socio-economic development of Bayelsa State has been uppermost in the agenda of the state government, several engagements made by the State government with industry stakeholders are yet to receive concrete action, apparent due to lack of robust telecommunications services in the State.
“Therefore, it is our fervent hope that this meeting will be the beginning of a partnership that will blossom in the areas of digital training and rapid ICT infrastructural development, for the benefit of the people of Bayelsa State and other Nigerians living in the State. We want to assure the Commission of our preparedness to work closely with it to fulfill its mandate in the State as well as actualise the vision of Bayelsa State government to leverage ICT for accelerating development,” Ekio said.
Also, the Bayelsa State Commissioner Communication, Science and Technology, commended the NCC for the good works it is doing in fast-tracking implementation of the digital economy initiatives of the Federal Government by being upbeat in consolidating the gains of the telecommunications sector. The Commissioner promise that Bayelsa State will also provide necessary incentives to accelerate ICT deployment in the State.
Responding to his guests, Danbatta, who was represented during the meeting by NCC’s Director, Digital Economy, Dr. Augustine Nwaulune, commended Bayelsa State Government for seeking collaboration with NCC to stimulate economic growth through telecommunication services and assured that NCC is a ready and willing partner of Bayelsa State on telecoms and ICT.
While the Commission is willing to partner with state governments and other relevant institutions to ensure universal access and universal services, Danbatta said efforts shall be made collaboratively to ensure that relevant infrastructure needed to delivering ubiquitous telecom services to achieve Bayelsa’s socio-economic goal are prioritized.
Danbatta emphasized the Commission’s recognition of the importance of infrastructure expansion in achieving Federal Government’s vision on digital economy. Citing the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 as one of the initiatives of the Federal Government instituted to bolster infrastructure expansion, Danbatta stated that the implementation of the Plan is essentially driven by NCC. He promised that NCC will ensure that infrastructure gaps in the telecommunications sector are bridged to accomplish Government’s vision in the context of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020-30.
Explicating further, Danbatta stated that, to accelerate broadband infrastructure deployment in the South-South geo-political zone where Bayelsa State is situated, the NCC had licensed Messrs Raeaana Limited, as one of the seven licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos), authorised to cascade fibre to deepen the penetration of broadband services in all nooks and crannies of the country. “The InfraCo licensees have been given timelines to work in their respective zones of deployment to cascade fibre infrastructure to the rural communities, covering the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) to enhance robust telecom service provisioning in the country”, the EVC stated.
Danbatta also emphasised the importance of comprehensive training for the youth in Bayelsa State and equipping them with ICT tools to enable them to thrive in a digital economy. “On this, the NCC will collaborate with Bayelsa to provide training for the youth as long as the State Government provide necessary tools required to achieve objective outcomes of such capacity building initiatives”, he said.
NCC Bags Best Public Sector Regulator Award
…5G Auction process, others cited for recognition
In recognition of the diligence, thoroughness, stakeholder inclusiveness, and the superlative outcome that attended the auction of the processes towards the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been conferred with an award of excellence as the “Public Sector Regulator of the Year 2021.”
The award was conferred Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, which organised the conferment ceremony concurrently with the launch of the Lami Fatima Babare Cervical Cancer Awareness Foundation. The event took place at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja, on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, Hassan Gimba, said aside the recognition of NCC’s pioneering regulatory role in leading the processes for 5G deployment in Nigeria in the West African subregion, the Commission was adjudged winner of the award based on its historic auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum in preparation for the deployment of 5G services which will become operational in the second half of this year.
According to Gimba, the spectrum auction was not only competitive, it was thoroughly, painstakingly and successfully completed with the final bid ending at a price 30 per cent higher ($273.6 million) than the initial offer of $197.4 million. “This is not only historically remarkable in terms of organisation, it is commendable because it brought substantial revenue to the coffers of Federal Government to enhance socio-economic development of other sectors in Nigeria”, Gimba asserted.
Other reasons cited by the organisers of the event for considering the Commission worthy of the award, include the recognition of its various regulatory efforts and strategic initiatives that have resulted in impressive contribution of the telecommunications industry to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This has helped to lift the country out of recession and bolstered national economic recovery strategies.
The conferment of the award was also premised on the remarkable role the Commission has been playing in cybersecurity awareness campaign focused on informing, educating and protecting the teeming telecom consumers from falling victim to the wiles of cyber criminals.
The organisers particularly placed on record the establishment by the NCC of the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the telecom industry’s sectoral watchdog for cyber threats. The Neptune Network, said it was gratified by the regular alerts to telecoms consumers on any novel cyber threats which were based on the works of CSIRT and the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), the national centre for the coordination of incident response and mitigation strategies for cyber threats.
Gimba commended the Commission under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta, its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for creating an enabling environment for competition to thrive among operators in the industry and its unwavering commitment in expanding the nation’s frontiers of growth and development through accelerating broadband infrastructure deployment.
Receiving the award on behalf of the Commission, in the full glare of other eminent Nigerians, including the representative of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who was knighted as Governor of the Year, the NCC’s Head of Online Media, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, thanked the Management of Neptune Network Nigeria Limited for the recognition.
He stated that the Commission will not rest on its oars because the award has boosted NCC’s determination to work even more, within the framework of its mandate, for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
“On behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission led by our inspiring Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, I convey the gratitude of Commission to the organisers of this event and thank them for this special recognition. The Commission treasures this gesture and sees it as another wake-up call to do more in the effort to unleash the full potential of Nigeria’s digital economy,” Ibietan said.
Spectranet Introduces Stryker Internet MiFi Modem￼
…Roots for Super Eagles for the World Cup Qualifiers
Spectranet, the leading Internet Service Provider offering 4G LTE based Home Broadband services and Fiber-based ( Fiber to the Home and Fiber On Air) Fixed Broadband services have introduced yet another innovative product “STRYKER”, a high tech internet modem to enable multiple users to browse the internet while on-the-move or at their homes/offices.
The all-new sleek MiFi device is designed specifically with football as its theme, timed to join Nigerians as they root for the Super Eagles of Nigeria against the Black Stars of Ghana in a world cup qualifier in March. The MiFi is named STRYKER to show support and to acknowledge the natural flair of the Nigerian National Team and their ability to strike for the world cup ticket.
At the unveiling of STRYKER, Ajay Awasthi, Chief Executive officer of Spectranet said, the attractive pricing of Stryker and the bundled data will enable more people to have access to the internet. “We know that our customers are passionate about football. The season will be a great time to root for the Super Eagles and encourage more people to cheer them up to strike for winning goals.
Speaking on the brand’s interest to support the business and lifestyle of Nigerians, Mr. Awasthi further added that the efficiency of the STRYKER MiFi Device will empower users to strike action on the internet, achieving great targets without boundaries. “… After two years of lock-down, the internet is where we all play, learn and transact business; we should all be striking good deals and making quality progress without boundaries.”
The Stryker MiFi device comes with a Qualcomm MDM9225 chipset processor that intelligently offers high-speed performance. With a Wi-Fi technology that supports multiple inputs and multiple outputs (2 x 2 MIMO), this device offers users the flexibility to share their MiFi connection with up to 10 devices at the same time.
It is equipped with a 2300mAh battery that provides backup power which lasts up to 6 hours of usage. The portable pocket-size device offers high speed and a seamless secured Internet connection that makes it suitable for outdoor and indoor purposes.
This latest innovation from Spectranet Stryker MiFi is said to be fully fitted to support the vibrant and active lifestyle of Nigerians and empower their businesses with faster internet to connect to their world and deliver high-quality services to their clients respectively.
MTN and Mafab Preps As Global 5G Subscriptions Targets 1bn Users in 2022
As Nigeria prepares to launch the first commercial fifth generation (5G) mobile networks in Sub-Saharan Africa(SSA), the GSM Association (GSMA) says 5G connections will surpass one billion in 2022 and two billion by 2025.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently announced that MTN and Mafab had made payments for the 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G licence. It is expected that the two Nigerian licencees will add the rising use of 5G networks globally when launched later this year.
By the end of 2025, 5G will account for over a fifth of total mobile connections, and more than two in five people globally will live within reach of a 5G network, according to The Mobile Economy Report 2022 from the GSMA.
This unprecedented growth represents the fastest generational roll-out for the mobile industry compared to 3G and 4G. By comparison, 18 months after its launch, 5G accounted for more than 5.5 per cent of mobile connections – neither 3G nor 4G exceeded 2.2 per cent penetration in the same time.
Today there are nearly 200 live 5G networks in seven countries, including 68 operators providing 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services and 23 delivering Stand Alone (SA) 5G services. All this supports consumer demand propelled by an ever-growing portfolio of 5G-enabled smartphones across various price points.
The chief technology officer, GSMA, Alex Sinclair said, “5G accounts for a much larger share of global mobile connections than 3G or 4G did at the same point in their lifecycles. Momentum has been boosted by factors including innovative plans, video streaming services, rising 5G handset sales, and network coverage expansions.
“In addition, the launch of 5G services in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa over the last year means that the technology is now available in every region of the world, so we are set to see more growth and more transformation for services.”
Early network capability initiatives are underway to support the increasing number of innovative consumer and enterprise use cases across the 5G Era. These include the 5G utilisation of multiple sub-3GHz spectrum bands, 5G mmWave, 5G Advanced, and Private Networks.
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