Nigeria signs updated radio regulations to deepen global connectivity

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Nigeria, along with other countries from around the world, has officially signed onto the Final Acts WRC-23 at the end of the World Radio-communications Conference (WRC) 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The conference was held to discuss and deliberate on various issues affecting the global telecommunications industry, including the allocation and management of radio frequencies to ensure seamless communication across borders.

The Final Acts, which constitutes a record of the decisions taken at the conference, comprises both the new and revised provisions of Radio Regulations, an international treaty governing the use of the radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, who represented Nigeria at the event, was joined in signing the agreement by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat Ltd), Mrs. Jane Egerton-Idehen.

Dr. Tijani thanked the Nigerian delegation for their sacrifices and enjoined them to commence preparation for future conferences to ensure the preservation of the country’s interest by developing capacity through investments in extensive research and inter-agency collaboration.

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida, emphasised the conference’s significant importance for Nigeria.

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According to Maida, “The agreements reached at this year’s conference will provide valuable spectrum resources that will benefit the Commission’s stakeholders, especially ordinary Nigerians, by enhancing service quality and bridging the digital gap in rural areas.

“Additionally, the establishment of international standards for radiocommunications and the decisions made at the conference will impact the development and implementation of new technologies.

“These outcomes align with Nigeria’s overall objectives and the Honourable Minister’s Strategic Plan for the ministry, particularly on expanding broadband connectivity in harmony with the global transition to 5G and future 6G technologies, as well as improving quality of experience and providing equitable access to all Nigerians.”

Among the decisions reached, the conference also identified a spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), which will be crucial for expanding broadband connectivity and developing IMT mobile services, also known as 4G, 5G, and, in the future, 6G.

L-R: The executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Aminu Maida and Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani during the conference.

The conference identified new frequencies for non-geostationary fixed-satellite service Earth Stations in Motion (ESIMs) that would provide high-speed broadband onboard aircraft, vessels, trains, and vehicles. These satellite services are also critical following disasters where local communication infrastructure is damaged or destroyed.

Provisions were also included to protect ship and aircraft mobile service stations located in international airspace and waters from other stations within national territories.

According to a statement by the ITU, “the agreement to the updated Radio Regulations identifies new spectrum resources to support technological innovation, deepen global connectivity, increase access to and equitable use of space-based radio resources, and enhance safety at sea, in the air, and on land.”

The WRC-2023 is a global, inter-governmental treaty conference that is held every three to four years by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations-affiliated international organization for telecommunications. At the end of each conference, countries signed updated Final Acts, the outcome of agreements on agendas put forward by country administrations.