NCC Releases Framework for 70/80GHz Band Licencing

NCCNIGERIAN Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a draft licencing framework for the use of 70.80GHz spectrum band it intends to licence to telecom operators to address the growing demand for data-centric, high speed and high capacity networks that consumers are demanding to meet their bandwidth needs.

This draft framework follows a stakeholder consultative framework held on March 12, in Lagos.

The 70/80 GHz band popularly called E-Band is known for high capacity point-to-point communications and is yet to be fully explored and exploited in Nigeria.

It provides a cost effective alternative for high-speed network backhaul applications. Austin Nwaulune, director, Spectrum Administration and Control, said that industry stakeholders are expected to submit both hard and soft copies of their comments/observations on or before the 7th of September 2015 to the executive vice chairman, NCC.

NCC is making available 2.875GHz bandwidth each in the uplink and the downlink directions of the 70/80GHz (71-74 and 81-84 GHz) spectrum band, for point to point applications, using a Light Licensing Model. NCC is adopting a Light Licensing Model for Nigeria would cost each licensee N18, 000 per hop per annum in Nigeria.

The regulator said adoption of the model will ensure that the spectrum licence issued for these bands are low cost and available on application to anyone meeting the eligibility criteria which is typically not stringent.

The highly directional pencil beam characteristics of the band will permit systems to be engineered in close proximity without causing interference. According to NCC, the opening up of this band will ease the pressure on the microwave bands.

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