- Mobile Communication: Nigeria Targets 2020 for 5G Deployment
The Federal Government has begun regulatory and policy framework that will enable the deployment of 5G network by 2020.
Executive Vice -Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed the targets in Abuja on Thursday at a sensitisation workshop organised by the Global System for Mobile Association in collaboration with NCC.
Five G technology stands for fifth generation wireless system that has the capacity to offer subscribers incredible broadband speed. It is expected to drive applications such as driverless cars and Internet of things.
Addressing journalists on the level of readiness of the country for the roll out of 5G connectivity, Danbatta 5G trials had started at the Eko Atlantic city in Lagos.
He said, “We are getting ready. 2020 will determine whether Nigeria will join other nations to roll out some 5G services or not. We will see. It all depends on readiness of the operators. The 5G spectrum bands will not be assigned to any operator for the deployment of any other services except 5G.
He added that three spectrums – 26GHz, 38GHz and 42GHz – had been reserved for use in the roll out of the advanced technology.
The GSMA identified modernised regulation and policy reform as an important enabler for boosting Nigeria’s digital economy and accelerating Internet access for millions through increased mobile broadband penetration.
The association, in its ‘Spotlight on Nigeria: Delivering a Digital Future’, report unveiled at the event, noted that Nigeria’s mobile market contributed $21bn to Gross Domestic Product in 2017, representing 5.5 per cent of Nigeria’s total GDP.
GSMA added that the country had witnessed the creation of nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs from the growth of the digital economy.
“Mobile connectivity has already improved the welfare of millions of Nigerians, opening the door to new digital possibilities and powering the country’s economic development,” said Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA, Akinwale Goodluck, while presenting the report.
Goodluck said, “For Nigeria to take full advantage of the next phase of its digital transformation, it’s vital that collaboration between industry and government enables the right policy environment for millions more to benefit from ultra-fast mobile broadband.
“If policies don’t keep pace with the needs of society and technological innovation, there is a risk that citizens will be left behind and productivity and competitiveness will suffer.”
In order to boost investor confidence and enable increased connectivity, Goodluck advocated for a review of the current licensing framework and conditions.
Specifically, he called on the NCC to retire the digital mobile licence, the national carrier licence and the international gateway licence.
The GSMA boss recommended elimination of old conditions in the Unified Access Service Licence and migrate many others towards a supplementary general UASL conditions document or to parallel regulations.
He also advised the country to lead the Sub-Saharan Africa region in identifying new frequency bands that 5G would benefit from, especially the 26GHz, 40GHz and 70GHz bands.
With increased spectrum harmonisation and licensing reform, the report said, the country’s mobile penetration would rise to 55 per cent of the population by 2025, with 70 per cent having 3G connectivity and 17 per cent having access to 4G networks.
The report added that only 44 per cent of mobile subscribers in Nigeria were using 3G technology while four per cent were using 4G technology, compared to over 18 per cent 4G penetration in South Africa and 16 per cent in Angola.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, called on NCC to work for free right of way for telecommunications operators and impose rollout obligations on operators.
He said free right of way would do more good to the telecommunications operators than the subsidy which NCC had offered to infrastructure operators.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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