Ham Radio: Nigeria to open spectrum for amateur radio

Ham Radio: Nigeria to open spectrum for amateur radio

Ham Radio: Nigeria to open spectrum for amateur radio

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it is opening up the 60GHz band to make frequency spectrum available for operation of Amateur Radio Services popularly called ham radio in the country.

Amateur Radio —ham radio—is used by people to pass information across towns and around the world and this can also be done without accessing the Internet.

Professor Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC told a Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum held Tuesday in Lagos that the telecoms regulator is working on the regulatory framework for ham radio in Nigeria.

Danbatta, represented by Mrs Abigail Sholanke, Director, Research and Development at NCC says the regulatory body believes that decisions and input of stakeholders should secure the action.

“The Commission sought active participation of stakeholders towards the framework being put in place to regulate the 60GHz V-band for the development of Amateur Radio Services”, NCC says.

Danbatta says that “to boost the eminent advantages that are coming with the 5G and to support short range machine to machine communication, opening band of unlicensed application is an advantage. The global unlicensed band exists on 57GHz to 64GHz, a wide spectrum of up to 7GHz.”

According to Danbatta, the radio frequency spectrum is the fundamental resource for the provision of wireless communication service but it is also scarce due to the high demand of wireless service and the emergence of new technology.

“Radio spectrum in the 60GHz Band, also known as the V-band is yet to be opened for deployment of services in Nigeria”, the NCC chief says explaining that the Commission had decided to provide an avenue for stakeholders and users of telecoms to add their voices towards opening up of the 60GHz spectrum band.

Danbatta says that “to boost the eminent advantages that are coming with the 5G and to support short range machine to machine communication, opening band of unlicensed application is an advantage. The global unlicensed band exists on 57GHz to 64GHz, a wide spectrum of up to 7GHz.”

The NCC Chief explains that the Commission used the event as an opportunity to present draft authorisation framework for the use of Amateur Radio Services in Nigeria.

According to him, the framework was intended to provide a clear outline for amateur radio operations in Nigeria as like-minded users of amateur radio establish a community of Amateur users to exchange personal, cultural and technical information.

Also present at the event, Mr. Austin Nwaulune, Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC says ham radio has been a popular hobby as its operators are spread across all walks of life.

“Operators of Amateur Radio could be students, doctors, truck drivers, politicians or even your average neighbors”, Nwaulune says clarifying that only qualified persons are allowed to register for amateur radio licences.

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