The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) is set to allocate fifth-generation (5G) slots to mobile network operators just as it disclosed that 180 million telephone lines have been linked to National Identification Number (NIN).
This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Mr Umar Danbatta while delivering his address during the Public Inquiry on three Regulatory Instruments on the Rule Making Process for industry stakeholders at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja.
He said the agency was considering five slots in the mid-band and low-band cadre for allotment to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for the deployment of the 5G technology as soon as possible.
He noted that it had become imperative to review guidelines for SIM card registration and replacement considering the security challenges facing the country.
The NCC boss said this in line with the Federal Government’s policy on digital identity, biometric and demographic information of the citizens needed to be updated to enable the government to address security dimensions of the challenges facing the country.
NCC To Allocate 5G Slots, Links 180m SIM Cards To NIN
He said, “We are looking at robust contributions from stakeholders. We believe that the combination of mid-band and the low band will provide meaningful 5G services across the country. And it is our belief that new entrants can also take advantage.
“However, the 5G Spectrum will be assigned administratively, but it will be determined by price and subject to the approval of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.”
He then said progress has been made as said over 180 million telephone lines had linked with the NIN.
He added that the SIM-NIN link-up was made possible following the capturing of over 64 million Nigerians by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in the National Identity Numbers (NIN) database.
Mr Danbatta said that statistics indicate that the telecommunications industry had bounced back with broadband penetration peaking at 41 per cent while active telephone subscribers have increased by over one million.
He said, with the deployment of over 1,500 NIN enrolment outlets by Mobile Number Operators (MNOs), the number of enrolments will increase significantly.