As part of its mandate to increase the broadband in the country by 30% in 2018, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has offered to allocate high-capacity 70/80 GHz spectrum bands.
These e-band wireless systems offer compelling advantages compared to other high capacity wireless technologies, such as high data rates, guaranteed data rates, long distance transmissions and most importantly, robust weather resilience. You will agree with me that Internet Service Providers always bear the brunt of disconnected network service resulting from a stormy weather or a thunderstorm.
The e-band wireless system does not rely on a perfect weather condition and is not in any way, subject to any atmospheric impairment that can disrupt or interfere with optical links for hours or even days, as you may have experienced in some cases. In Nigeria, this is unavoidable, because a typical rainy season is accompanied by thunderstorms and air turbulence, which in many cases disable optical links, leaving businesses or individuals handicapped for hours.
Prof. Umaru Dambatta, the Executive Chairman, NCC, was represented by the Deputy Director, Technical Services, Mr. Bako Wakili at the telecom executives and regulator forum organised by The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).
According to him, the auction of 2.5/2.6 GHz spectrum and 700 MHz for 4G LTE coverage requirements are currently under review. The commission hopes to abolish the existing band allocations in the radio spectrum, to accommodate the e-band wireless system, so as to provide broadband services without necessarily interrupting the quality of service.
He explained further that despite the existing challenges, it is imperative to install broadband infrastructure and in fact, is a topmost priority to the country’s economic development. The aim is to make broadband more available, affordable and accessible to everyone in the country.
If this is put in place, undoubtedly, endless opportunities will spring up in virtually every sector, paving way for an exponential growth, which has been hindered by inadequate metro fibre infrastructure in several towns and cities, poor perception of broadband-value, high cost of broadband access, low broadband speed, low level of digital literacy among other factors.
Regardless of these challenges, however, Damabatta said that the commission will not relent in offering their support to making high-speed broadband connectivity available for the benefit of every individual and enterprise. Currently, there is an adequate bandwidth landing at the country’s shores from overseas but the major challenge is the shortage of metro fibre infrastructure across the country.