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NCC plans 4G spectrum auctions

By The Citizen

THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has expressed its readiness and plans to auction 4G-spectrum licenses in the country.

NCC said this has become necessary in order to improve the country's broadband services and deliver 21st century telecommunications services.

Though, the auction processes will not come until 2015, the regulator said Nigeria must also join countries, which are making efforts to auction such frequency bands, by preparing ahead.

In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone communication technology standards. It is a successor of the third generation (3G) standards.

A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access, for example to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Conceivable applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D television and Cloud Computing.

Indeed, two 4G-candidate systems are commercially deployed: the Mobile WiMAX standard and the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard.

Speaking in Lagos, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the commission's regulation doesn't permit it give out money to subscribers, 'because of lack of audit.'

Juwah, who said virtually all countries are now making efforts towards 4G, disclosed that 'Nigeria is also about to auction some 4G frequencies for LTE. We are presently upgrading operators on 800MHz to LTE. LTE is 4G.'

Already, Global service revenues generated by LTE mobile networks are forecast to reach $100 billion by 2014.

According to him, auctioning would enable the telecommunications sector to fast track development and makes it more LTE enabled.

The NCC boss said the commission was also getting ready to auction the remainder of 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz frequency bands.

He said the commission was also working with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for the latter to release some frequencies, which are with it to improve telecommunication services.

'The challenge is that some of this 4G bands are not in the custody of NCC. They are with NBC. But we have agreed privately with them to release these unused frequencies to us by 2015. This will enable us expand our operations.

'I am very sure we are not late for 4G. Even lots of developed countries won't be on LTE by 2015. For example, it took UK five years of study for them to be able to auction 4G. They did that about two months ago', Juwah stated. The Guardian