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Nokia's 5G plans in Nigeria hinge on spectrum policy

Nokia's 5G plans in Nigeria hinge on spectrum policy

Nokia is hoping the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the West African country's government can introduce strong policy on spectrum so that 5G technology use cases can materialise.

The company is currently hosting a series of Innovation Days in Lagos, targeted at telecom operators, enterprises (including the public sector) and individuals, to showcase how 5G technology can transform the way people live and work, and "enhance the industrial productivity in Nigeria."

It plans to use this forum to highlight use cases in conservation, entertainment and education.

For example, the use of 360° capable cameras with pattern recognition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and software solutions to monitor the movement of intruders at fences and send alerts when anomalies are detected.

"This can be used to prevent poaching, which is a major challenge across the African continent," according to Nokia.

The company continues: "In the connected industries use case, self-learning AI video solutions will be used to monitor the manufacturing process to improve quality control and efficiency in factories, while the connected retail solution aims to assist online fashion retailers to reduce the percentage of returns due to incorrect sizing while bringing the physical retail industry closer to online. Nokia will also demonstrate the unique benefits of Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) through 5G to consumer applications such as online gaming, immersive entertainment, haptic capabilities (touch, feel) and e-health."

Visitors also can experience how private LTE can streamline operations for both mines and airports, and Nokia will explain why it believes its cloud-native core is fundamental to enable bandwidth-intensive and low-latency use cases in the areas of industrial automation, public sector, and consumer entertainment.

But much of the 5G promise depends on spectrum management.

"While we have already our 2G, 3G and 4G networks deployed in the country, we are also engaging with all the key operators and other industry stakeholders to bring 5G to the country as early as possible. Nokia believes one of the key aspects of realizing the true potential of 5G is a strong spectrum policy. To this end, we would like the NCC and other Nigerian government telecom bodies to work closely to ensure this is the case. This will be essential to bring the kind of 5G use cases that we are demonstrating," said Eniola Campbell, country senior officer, Nokia, Nigeria.

The company asserts that while 3G and 4G will remain the dominant technologies for mobile broadband in Nigeria over the coming years, there is expectation in the potential that 5G holds.

Nokia has established 5G Future X as its service to market strategy around 5G and said this will assist operators to ready themselves and their networks to transition to 5G and IOT going forward.

"The rapid adoption of new technologies by Nigeria's youth means the opportunities will only continue to grow," Campbell added.

In mid-July 2019 ITWeb Africa reported on May 2019 figures released by the NCC which put the country's teledensity at 91% with 122.6 million active internet subscribers.

Broadband penetration dropped to 33.13% in that month, from 33.70% in April 2019, and the country is understood to have lost approximately 1.1 million broadband subscribers within the one-month period.

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