NCC: Meeting the Interest of Government for Digital Economy Development in COVID-19 Era

Digital Economy Development - cfamedia

At the ATCON Sectoral Virtual Forum held on Thursday, August 6, 2020 via zoom and other social media platforms on the need of Telecoms and ICT Consumers in the era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar G. Danbatta, who was a special guest at the virtual forum discussed how the Commission is meeting the Federal Government interest for Digital Economy Development in COVID-19 Era.

According to the EVC, the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and sharply ravaged the globe, Nigeria is no exception, “Governments, therefore faced unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 pandemic.

The impact affects most sectors of the global economy, ranging from health, to education, to finance, to trade and investment, etc”

“However, as Governments slowly opened-up their economies amidst the pandemic, this requires the utilization of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a principal resource for protecting the health and safety of citizens, as well as, ensuring socio-economic activities pick-up.”

“It is worth to mention that, at the heart of ICT is the Telecoms Infrastructure, which ensures the collapse of distance as a barrier for communications.”, Danbatta stressed

On meeting the interest of the government on Digital Economy Development in COVID-19 Era, the EVC discussed the challenges of under three categories that spanned through 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Under-utilization of submarine broadband landing capacity

Under this first category:

  • The NCC licensed two infracos, but one declined the license in 2015
  • In 2018 the Commission licensed an additional five infracos
  • The six infracos counterpart funding agreement processes on-going in 2019
  • While in 2020, the Commission was in the process of reviewing the infraco framework, as mandated by NBP (2020 –2025)
Spectrum utilization

In this category for both 2015 and 2018, the NCC carried out the following initiatives:

  • Spectrum re-planing–800MHz CDMA
  • Spectrum re-farming –1800MHz for LTE
  • Spectrum auctioning –2,6 GHz (14 slots)
  • Administrative assignment –700 MHz (two of 2 x 10 MHz)

In 2019, the Commission also carried out the following initiatives:

  • Commercial satellite
  • Space segment
  • Providers footprints and,
  • Licensed –55 issued landing permit

While in 2020, the NCC in the process of issuing last-mile satellite operators license to provide broadband services

Quality of service

This is the final category

In 2015 and 2018, the Commission carried out the following:

  • Monthly engagement with operators on QoS
  • Quarterly industry working groups (IWGS) on QoS & shortcodes
  • Monitoring of 2g key performance indicators (KPIs)

While in 2019 and 2020, NCC carried out

  • Monthly engagement –on going
  • IWGS on QoS & shortcodes –ongoing
  • Monitoring of 2G KPIS & additional 3G, internet service providers (ISP) & colocation service providers (CSP) KPIs –ongoing
  • Drive test –on going

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