To enhance the nation’s broadband and data service, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS, has called for the adoption of the 700MHz band.
NATCOMS President, Mr. Adeolu Ogunbanjo, made the call in a statement, urging Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the Ministry of Communications to do the needful to get the 700MHz allotted for telecommunications services.
Ogunbanjo said the adoption is in line with the decision of the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, that 700MHz band be adopted for global mobile industry.
He stated that the ITU, a UN specialised agency for information and communication technologies, had said that the utilisation of the 700MHz communication spectrum would address “digital divide.” adding that the ITU’s decision would pave the way for manufacturers and mobile operators to offer mobile broadband at affordable prices in currently underserved areas.
The 700MHz band is an important swathe of spectrum available for both commercial wireless and public safety communications.
The band consists of 108 megahertz of spectrum running from 698-806 MHz and was freed up as a result of the Digital Television transition.
Nigerian Pilot reports that the advantage of 700MHz is that its lower frequency gives a big benefit to network coverage and at a lower cost, although it’s unlikely to deliver the same sort of data speed performance as higher bands that have more spectrum to go around.
On the other hand 4G Carrier Aggregation (combines multiple bands for faster data speeds) between 800MHz and 700MHz could give a big boost to rural areas.
Ofcom and other European regulators already have long-term plans to clear Digital TV services from the 700MHz band by around 2022 (these will be moved onto 600MHz), which would free 700MHz up for use as a Mobile Broadband service.

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