The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said the country is ready for the 5G bandwidth network for faster and efficient internet services.
This is as the commission said it will soon audit the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to determine their level of compliance with the regulation on the registration of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards.
The commission’s Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Dare, said this in Abuja at an interactive session with newsmen.
He said the NCC had been preparing the country for it by bringing together critical stakeholders to examine the legal, regulatory and technology issues, apart from developing a roadmap.
“We have opened up consultations on spectrum for drones, etc. We are proactively leading discussions on the development of new technologies. This does not mean that we are going to discard the 2G, 3G or 4G. Each one of these levels of technologies has its benefits and the fact remains that you have to move from one level to the other,”Dare said.
On the audit of the MNOs, Dare said it was during a similar exercise in August 2015 that the regulatory body found that 5.2 million SIM cards were not properly registered by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.
This, according to him, led to the imposition of N1.04tn fine on the mobile operator, before it was eventually reduced to N330bn. MTN completed the payment of the fine on May 24. According to him, the exercise was not to make money for the government but to ensure that prescribed processes were complied with.
Speaking on broadband penetration, the NCC official said Nigeria has met the 30 percent milestone and has publicly released the data for everyone to interrogate.
“Those who say we have not are citing old reports from the ITU. They forget that NCC provides the data that ITU uses. We are the custodians of data, and we have specialised methods of measuring. Based on empirical data, we have met and surpassed the target,” he noted.