The NCC Releases Draft Guidelines on Infrastructure Deployment in the Telecom Sector

As part of agenda setting for the successful rollout of the Fifth Generation (5G) network scheduled for August 2022, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has released a draft guideline on infrastructure deployment in the telecom sector. The guidelines spelt out concerns about public safety, and the safety of personnel and equipment, the responsibilities of all stakeholders including the owners, designers and fabricators of communications masts and towers; the demands of the local operating environment as well as the need to achieve substantial conformity with applicable international best practices.

The NCC Releases Draft Guidelines on Infrastructure Deployment in the Telecom Sector

The NCC Releases Draft Guidelines on Infrastructure Deployment in the Telecom Sector

As part of agenda setting for the successful rollout of the Fifth Generation (5G) network scheduled for August 2022, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has released a draft guideline on infrastructure deployment in the telecom sector. The guidelines spelt out concerns about public safety, and the safety of personnel and equipment, the responsibilities of all stakeholders including the owners, designers and fabricators of communications masts and towers; the demands of the local operating environment as well as the need to achieve substantial conformity with applicable international best practices.

 

In the guidelines are the types and constituents of tower structures and a comprehensive data on wind speeds in Nigeria, to be referenced by engineers in the design of masts and towers. There are also the technical and general requirements for network design and planning, and the connection of all buildings within a new development with public networks, with a customer demand forecast of not less than 10 years. Other areas covered in the guideline are the requirements for reserve capacity, to allow for the construction of sufficient duct capacity for current and the future service. The guideline maintains that the siting of masts and towers shall be in line with the provisions of the NCC Act and guided by provisions of the collocation and infrastructure sharing guidelines of the Commission. It added that all masts and towers sited in cities shall conform to the guidelines and standards of the Commission concerning all matters on radio frequency. 

 

The guidelines are aimed at ensuring environmental safety and sound engineering practices, and therefore must be strictly adhered to by communications services providers/operators, designers, fabricators, and installers of communications towers, and other operators in the sector.

 

MTN and Huawei Install 100 5G Sites in Nigeria

Meanwhile, ahead of the commercial rollout of the 5G network in August, MTN Nigeria in partnership with Huawei Nigeria Technologies Company Ltd Technologies Company Ltd. has installed more than 100 5G mobile technology cell sites in the country. This is to enable them rollout service in at least one state in each geo-political zone: South-West, South-South, South-East, North-Central (including FCT), North-West and North-East zones within two years of the award of the country’s two 100MHz spectrum licences in the 3.5GHz spectrum band for 5G auctioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in December 2021 and which licenses were issued in March this year after payment by the winners.

 

Beyond that, the NCC mandates that “Service roll out in each state would mean a minimum of 5 sites in a state. The installation of more than 100 5G mobile technology cell sites in the country means that MTN has met the minimum standard set by the NCC of at least 30 sites in the country or 5 sites in each of the states chosen in each of the region. If successfully rolled out this month, Nigeria will become the third in Africa after South Africa and Kenya and the first in West Africa to launch the 5G network. Both the MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited are expected to commence the rollout of their 5G networks from 24 August in line with the terms and conditions of the concessions.