he Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd. (NIGCOMSAT) has said it plans to deploy 5G in the country using a new satellite, the NIGCOMSAT 2.
This is coming after the federal government had earlier approved the migration of C-Band services on NigComSat-1R Satellite with a seven-and-a-half (7.5) years life span to accelerate the deployment of 5G systems in the country.
It also said that the NIGCOMSAT 2 would be launched into orbit by the first quarter of 2023 to enhance coverage.
Dr Abimbola Alale, Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, made these known during a stakeholders engagement forum, organised by the agency in Lagos on Thursday.
The theme of the event is “NIGCOMSAT: The Roadmap for Enhanced Service Delivery”.
She said that the satellite would backhaul the services of 5G once telecom operators deploy the fifth generation network services.
Alale said that backhauling meant getting data to a point which could be distributed via the optic fibre or network.
She said: “Operators would use the satellite to provide coverage to areas the 5G cannot reach.
Alale said that the government planned to provide 70 per cent broadband by 2025 and NIGCOMSAT would keep working with other technology providers to be able to deliver broadband services to all Nigerians.
Mr Anthony Orjinta, Deputy General Manager, Satellite Control and Operations, NIGCOMSAT, during a panel discussion, said satellite had always been supporting all GSM operators.
“Satelite has always been serving areas that are underserved, because we all know that the cost of deploying terrestrial sites is quite expensive but fibre deployment is even more costly due to our environment.
“As the 2G, 3G, 4G technologies are evolving, so also are the technologies in the satellite industry.
“The enhanced capacities that are available in other technologies are also coming along in the satellite space, “Orjinta said.
He said that the technologies we were looking at now, were pushing towards convergence which meant that 4G and 5G could give video,voice and data
Orjinta said that originally when the telecom industry started, Nigeria only had voice calls but with evolution things changed.
He said: “5G is bringing faster connectivity, but is coming with a shorter transmission distance.
Orjinta said that NIGCOMSAT was in the process of launching a new satelite which would be one of the first in Africa and a deal breaker.
He also said that the satellite would provide back haul services for all 5G operations, while simultaneously delivering services of the same comparative capacity to underserved areas and dark spots that were not economically viable for terrestrial operators.
Orjinta noted that terrestrial operators would not want to deploy 5G in areas that were not profitable.
“We have had situations where companies put in terrestrial traffic data locations and actually took them off because they were not making enough money, “he said.