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FG Launches National Policy on 5G, Assures Protection of Data

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In a bid to improve Nigeria’s digital economy, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, inaugurated the national policy on Fifth Generation Networks (5G).

Investors King recalls that the 5G network was earlier approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on September 8, 2021.

The 5G technology was put in place to promote transparency which will help tackle insecurity and create more job opportunities. 

President Buhari stated that the benefits of the 5G networks would be fully harnessed to improve the national economy, security and the general welfare of the citizens.

He explained that the issues surrounding the 5G network have been extensively discussed including health safety which has made the federal government come up with a suitable policy. 

Speaking on the treasures to be mined in the 5G technology, Buhari mentioned that the network will aid the growth of all sectors, adding that it is faster than the previous technologies available.

In his words, “The 5G technologies can support virtually every sector of the economy, including enhanced connectivity, improved healthcare, support for education while fostering smart cities, and boosting agriculture, among other advantages.

”5G technology is significantly faster than earlier digital technologies and it provides near real-time communication. This can play a key role in boosting our efforts towards enhancing security across the nation.

”It will enable our security institutions to effectively deploy robotics, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality to address any security challenges that we face.”

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, during the launch opined that the 5G technology will greatly help in curbing insecurity in the nation.

Enumerating the goals of the 5G network national policy, the minister said it will secure the ecosystem and ensure protection of data with international standards. 

He added that the 5G network will open up opportunities to explore broad information to solve security issues in the country.

“The 5G Network will enhance transparency and economic development as its potential for job creation is unprecedented.

“It is viable platform for security institutions to leverage on, in tackling the security challenges that have bedevilled the country, by harnessing the potential of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Robotics etc. which explore real-time information for maximum efficiency,” he said.

The federal government affirmed that it would continually make the country friendly for investors to successfully build their businesses.

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Telecommunications

USSD Service May no Longer be Available as Network Providers Threaten Banks

Network providers have threatened to halt the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offered to the financial institutions operating in the country due to N80 billion unpaid debt.

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Network providers have threatened to halt the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offered to the financial institutions operating in the country due to N80 billion unpaid debt.

Investors King learnt that the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) says it might be forced to stop Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services because banks have failed to pay for services rendered.

Speaking at a conference in Lagos, ALTCON chairman, Mr Gbenga Adebayo lamented that the debt which stood at N42 billion earlier this year has now risen to N80 billion. 

Adebayo noted that despite the government’s effort to resolve the matter, many banks were not cooperating as regards paying their debt. 

He further disclosed that the telecom operators might have to disconnect the banks from the USSD service until they do the needful.

It will be recalled that in March 2021, telecommunication operators had threatened to withdraw their USSD services to financial institutions due to the N42 billion accumulated debt.

The huge debt was a result of the deduction from the commission during the transactions. However, the banks failed to remit to the telecommunications operators who own the infrastructure used for the transactions. 

The USSD service has become an integral part of the Nigerian banking system. Some of the services available on USSD include money transfer, checking of account balance and buying mobile airtime.

Other services which can be carried out on USSD include buying data and generating bank statements or pin codes.

No doubt, the USSD service has significantly helped to drive the CBN cashless policy and financial inclusion. 

It is believed that millions of Nigerians who do not have a smartphone or run out of data or internet connection often resolve to the USSD service. Billions of naira are transacted every day through USSD. Statista reported that the value of USSD transactions in 2020 was a whopping N550 billion. 

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MTN Partners With Ericsson on 5G Internet Connection

The largest Telecommunication company in Africa, MTN has partnered with Ericsson for its 5G network in Nigeria. 

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MTN Nigeria has partnered with a world-renowned telecommunications hardware, software and service provider, Ericsson to launch 5G technology and Radio Access Network in Nigeria. 

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola said that MTN will combine the strength it used to expand its 2G, 3G and 4G networks to expand its 5G network across the country in the coming months. 

Toriola also recognised the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami for his role and leadership in his capacity as minister which has been beneficial to the telecommunication industry.

It will be recalled that in December 2021, MTN and Mafab Communications Limited won the bid for the 5G spectrum auctioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

The partnership with Ericsson will help MTN to provide revolutionised 5G network services to its numerous customers in Nigeria. The 5G network will be critical in unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality for millions of users in Nigeria. 

Hossam Kandeel, Vice President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa was quoted to have said ” We (Ericsson) are proud to be a part of Nigeria’s 5G digital transformation that has only just begun.

“With connectivity being the backbone of digitization, we are committed to delivering the best service to our partners at MTN Nigeria to support them in this thrilling journey.”

On his part, MTN Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Mr Muhammed Rufai who also witnessed the event said “5G will revolutionise the way we live and communicate across industries. With the speed 5G offers, we will be able to experience the Internet with low latency, which means no lag, making our virtual interactions more real.

“At MTN, we will continue to pursue the rollout of 5G technology to revolutionise Internet access across the continent.” 

 

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NCC Projects N500 Billion Revenue From 5G Spectrums License

The Nigerian communication commission (NCC) has revealed plans to generate N500 billion in revenue from the auctioning of the 5G spectrums in 2023.

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The Nigerian communication commission (NCC) has revealed plans to generate N500 billion in revenue from the auctioning of the 5G spectrums in 2023.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who spoke in an interactive meeting on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF-FSP), organized by the Senate Committee on Finance.

He stated that the projected revenue would be realized from the auctioning of two 5G spectrums, adding that the commission had already begun the bidding process for auctioning of the spectrums.

Prof. Danbatta disclosed that in the first quarter of 2022, the commission generated N257 billion while it remitted N195 billion to the government coffers.

The NCC boss added that from April to August, N318 billion was generated while N214 billion was remitted. He revealed that the funds raised by the commission were occasioned by the auctioning of two 5G spectrums at the rates of $263 million and $273 million.

He said “The NCC from 2017 to 2021 had generated N799bn and remitted N423bn to the government.

“The target was to hit 75 percent penetration in 2025. Hopefully, we will achieve 50 percent penetration by end of 2022.”

Prof. Danbatta further advised Nigerians not to hesitate to make use of the 112 emergency national numbers in case of any emergency incident, such as fire outbreaks, or accidents, among others, and a toll-free number, 622, to lodge complaints on issues relating to drop calls.

Prof. Danbatta last year disclosed the readiness of the commission to deploy its mandate to boost the nation’s economy and ensure national development from the 5G spectrum, adding that the commission will launch a book to provide more insight into the workings of NCC under his watch.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, added that the Senate would continue to encourage NCC to improve its revenue generation profile to the Federal Government.

He further stated that the expected NCC revenue in 2023 would help reduce the deficit proposed in the 2023 budget.

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