Spectrum Auction’ll Democratise Broadband For Nigerians – Danbatta

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L-R: The managing director, ThisDay Newspapers, Eniola Bello; President, African Public Relations Association, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya; Executive commissioner, stakeholder management, Nigerian Communications Commission, Adeleke Adewolu and the chairman, STB-McCann, Steve Omojafor during the association’s annual conference in Lagos.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the ongoing process to auction two additional lots in the 3.5GHz spectrum for the Fifth Generation (5G) network is part of efforts that will further democratise access to high-speed mobile broadband for all Nigerians.

The executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta stated this over the weekend in Lagos, while speaking at the 10th Annual Brands and Marketing Conference of the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) where the NCC was conferred with the Regulator of the Decade award.

Represented by the commission’s executive commissioner, stakeholder management, Adeleke Adewolu, the EVC noted that the ongoing process for which arrangements are in top gear followed the successful auctioning of two bands of the 3.5GHz spectrum in December 2021.

Danbatta disclosed that the commission is currently reviewing the licences and frameworks for fixed broadband to update them in line with current challenges and make them more effective, as part of the pivotal initiatives deployed by NCC that are already bearing fruits.

The EVC was emphatic that the commission, in pursuit of its mandate, has been relentless in creating a conducive atmosphere for the rollout and adoption of new technologies, while the government has insisted on leveraging digital technologies to grow the economy.

As a result, policies – like the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 and the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP) 2020-2025 – have been developed and the NCC, as well as other agencies and partners are implementing them. 

Danbatta informed the participants at the conference that content creation and consumption have grown around the telecommunications infrastructure provided by technology, which Nigerian entertainers have leveraged to become global brands.

“By heavily leveraging digital platforms, the Nigerian entertainment industry has gone global. Nollywood is one of the biggest movie industries in the world. More movies are produced by Nollywood yearly in comparison to Hollywood.

“Nigerian music stars are in hot demand worldwide because of their popularity and brand recognition on social media. We should add that many of these global superstars emerging from Nigeria launched into stardom by leveraging ‘caller tunes’ and other mobile content platforms to grow their brands and huge following online,” the EVC stated.

He pointed out that digital platforms are fostering different types of systemic change, creating new brands and eroding the value of some (whilst increasing the value of others). “The innovation-transformation-disruption cycle,” he said, “has come to stay and will be exacerbated as technology continues to evolve”.  

A statement by the commission’s director of public affairs, Reuben Muoka said Danbatta told the audience: “Let me assure you that the NCC will continue to aggressively drive the roll-out and seamless operation of infrastructure to drive new digital technologies for the benefit of all sectors of our economy. We hope that Nigerian brands will continue to leverage on robust infrastructure to grow their value and ensure that our country derives maximum benefit from unfolding digital transformation efforts”.

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