Nigeria: NIGCOMSAT Plans 5G Deployment Through New Satellite to Boost Coverage

The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited(NIGCOMSAT) plan to launch of NIGCOMSAT 2 satellite into orbit by the first quarter of 2023, to give further coverage and provide Fifth Generation Technology (5G) services for the nation’s telecommunications industry is expected to pitch more competition in the sector as more telecoms operators obtain license of spectrum delivering 5G services.

On Tuesday in Lagos, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had a stakeholders engagement ahead of its auctioning of 100MHz in the 3.5Ghz band of the 5G technology where it took recommendations from the telecommunications operators and other stakeholders in response to the draft Information Memorandum (IM) from the NCC.

At the meeting with the commission there was a table shaking by the duo of MTN Nigeria and Airtel over the auctioning the said license as reported by TechnologyMirror.

Airtel wants administrative rights to the auction while MTN Nigeria though not qualified for the auction wants ato take part whatever the outcome, there’s respite from NigComSat for the telecos that may lost out from the auctioning to get 5G services from NigComSat planned satellite.

Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale, while speaking during a stakeholders’ engagement forum, organised by the agency in Lagos on Thursday, said that the satellite would backhaul the services of 5G once telecom operators deploy the fifth generation network services.

The event, which had as its theme, “NIGCOMSAT: The Roadmap for Enhanced Service Delivery” offer the company opportunity to talk about the potentials of satellite of delivery 5G services.

She said that operators would use the satellite to provide coverage to areas the 5G cannot reach adding that the government planned to provide 70 per cent broadband by 2025 and NIGCOMSAT would keep working with other technology providers to be able to deliver broadband services to all Nigerians.

Speaking during a penal discussion, Deputy General Manager, Satellite Control and Operations, NIGCOMSAT, Mr Anthony Orjinta, said satellite had always been supporting all GSM operators, adding that “Satellite has always been serving areas that are underserved, because we all know that the cost of deploying terrestrial sites is quite expensive but fibre deployment is even more costly due to our environment.”

He said: “As the 2G, 3G, 4G technologies are evolving, so also are the technologies in the satellite industry. The enhanced capacities that are available in other technologies are also coming along in the satellite space.”

Orjinta stated that the technologies we were looking at now, were pushing towards convergence which meant that 4G and 5G could give video, voice and data, saying that originally when the telecom industry started, Nigeria only had voice calls but with evolution things changes.

He said 5G is bringing faster connectivity, but is coming with a shorter transmission distance stressing that NIGCOMSAT was in the process of launching a new satellite which would be one of the first in Africa and a deal breaker .

According to him, the satellite would provide back haul services for all 5G operations, while simultaneously delivering services of the same comparative capacity to underserved areas and dark spots that were not economically viable for terrestrial operators.

Orjinta observed that terrestrial operators would not want to deploy 5G in areas that were not profitable, saying “We have had situations where companies put in terrestrial traffic data locations and actually took them off because they were not making enough money.”

Additional report from NAN


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