NIGCOMSAT plans to use NIGCOMSAT 2 to deploy 5G services to underserved areas


Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) says it plans to deploy satellite to compliment other technology services including 5G to end users particularly to underserved areas using a new satellite, NIGCOMSAT 2 which would enhance coverage.

The Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT Dr Abimbola Alale, made the remark at a stakeholders’ engagement forum in Lagos with the theme ‘NIGCOMSAT: The Roadmap for Enhanced Service Delivery” put together by NIGCOMSAT.

Dr Alale who said Operators would use the satellite to provide coverage to areas that 5G cannot reach, explained that satellite would backhaul the services of 5G once telecom operators deploy the fifth generation network services and added that backhauling would get data to a point which could be distributed via the optic fibre or network.

She 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.

In a panel discussion, Deputy General Manager, Satellite Control and Operations, NIGCOMSAT, Mr Anthony Orjinta said satellite had always been supporting all GSM operators and has always been serving areas that are underserved, because the cost of deploying terrestrial sites is expensive and added that as the 2G, 3G, 4G technologies are evolving, so also are the technologies in the satellite industry.

He noted that terrestrial operators would not want to deploy 5G in areas that were not profitable and noted that there been situations where companies put in terrestrial traffic data locations and actually took them off because they were not making enough money.

Mr Orjinta said that originally when the telecom industry started, Nigeria only had voice calls but with evolution things changed and 5G is bringing faster connectivity, but is coming with a shorter transmission distance.

Mr 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 .

The Chairman Association Of Licensed Telecom Operations, ALTON Mr Gbenga Adebayo who moderated the panel said there are still challenges in the deployment of 5g which satellite can help in enhancing delivery for the last mile.
He listed satellite, fiber and microwave as an option that will enhance the deployment of 5g to promote areas
High point of the stakeholders engagement forum which focused on the role of satellite on 5g deployment was a panel session involving the Navy and the Army in which they shared their experiences in using satellite to deploy communications in remote areas.