Spectrum release and broadband access in Nigeria

Plum advised Etisalat Nigeria on a range of policy issues in the context of the development of a national broadband plan. The work can be divided into three key areas.

Scope for release of UHF spectrum in Nigeria:

  • Description of international developments in respect of release of the digital dividend focusing particularly on Region 1 band plans.
  • Assessing the current use of the VHF and UHF TV bands in Nigeria and the amount of spectrum that might be released as a digital dividend.
  • Discussion of reasonable block sizes at 700/800MHz and 2.6 GHz, including evidence on block sizes awarded elsewhere.
  • Analysis of previous spectrum awards in Nigeria.
  • Description of international best practice in spectrum awards.
  • Recommendations on the award of UHF spectrum in Nigeria

Competition in backbone networks:

  • Assessment of the case for competitive provision of backbone networks.
  • Comparison of outcomes of market versus government-led solutions in high income countries.
  • Exploration of government-led backbone networks in low and middle income countries.

Extending broadband coverage to rural areas:

  • Exploration of the possibility of a licensing regime for a single transmission network to be built in rural and sub-urban areas with clear obligations to share facilities under regulated pricing.
  • Highlighting of the benefits of a multiplicity of Radio Access Networks in such areas supported by a single transmission network.
  • Identification of options which encourage rural coverage, including passive infrastructure companies and joint rollout incentives to infrastructure players to encourage rural coverage.

The report’s conclusions were presented to government officials in Nigeria.