ABUJA, July 16 (Reuters) – Nigeria expects to start auctioning spectrum for next generation 5G network in the fourth quarter of this year, the head of the country’s communications commission said.
Umar Garba Danbatta said Africa’s biggest economy had undertaken 5G trials in selected locations in Nigeria with one mobile operator but did not share details of the results.
5G networks will rely on denser arrays of small antennas and the cloud to offer data speeds that are much faster than current 4G networks and serve as critical infrastructure for a range of industries.
“Securing spectrum for 5G is an antecedent for any operator to commit serious investment in 5G infrastructure,” Danbatta said in a paper presented at a local university and seen by Reuters on Friday.
Danbatta said that during the first quarter of 2022, the auction would move to the assignment stage, whereby companies can bid for the positions they prefer within the airwaves they would have won.
South Africa and Kenya have already launched commercial 5G networks, which also support far many more devices to connect to the internet in a given area, compared with the existing network. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh, Writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by David Gregorio)
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