FG to Accelerate Deployment of 5G Services with Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Approval

The federal government has moved to accelerate the rollout of 5G services in the country with the approval of an Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products and the cleanup of the C-band spectrum.

This follows the presentation of 3 memos by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that took place on June 29, 2022.

This disclosure is contained in a statement from the Technical Assistant (Research and Development) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Femi Adeluyi.

The Government-wide Enterprise Licensing Agreement for Microsoft products is a cost-saving strategy for government software acquisition and will be implemented by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), overseen by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Benefits of the agreements for Microsoft products

This agreement is part of the federal government’s efforts to keep the costs of IT projects at a sustainable level.

Continuing on, Adeluyi said in the statement: “The agreement will give the government access to discounted pricing and other cost benefits, as well as reducing project duplication at Federal Public Institutions (FPIs).

It also ensures good technical support for Microsoft products and services, ensuring protection against cybersecurity threats, ensuring the availability and reliability of government IT services.

“The Enterprise Licensing Agreement will deliver an expected savings of at least 35% of current government investments in Microsoft products and services.

“Not only will this significantly reduce the cost of licensing for FPIs, it will reduce and simplify licensing complexity, facilitate accounting and cash flow predictability, and monitor the utilization and impact of government investment.”

The statement stated that FEC instructed all FPIs to act in the agreement when purchasing Microsoft licenses and services.

The council also approved the request of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to clear some of the C-band spectrum within the country’s telecom sector of any barriers and to migrate current users on the affected spectrum, towards of the successful roll-out of 5G technology in Nigeria.

He claimed, ”In addition, with seven and a half years to the end of NigComSat-1R Satellite’s life, NCC and NIGCOMSAT managed by Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), which currently operates C-Band services on the 3.4 – 3, 9 GHz spectrum range, agree to move/migrate the activities of NigComSat-1R C band service to another frequency (standard C band) and release the current frequency for immediate deployment of 5G in the country.

“The approved memos will accelerate the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), especially the pillars of solid infrastructure (broadband) and service infrastructure (platforms).”

He also stated that the ministry will continue to promote initiatives that will transform Nigeria into a country with a sustainable and thriving digital economy.

What you should know

Recall that the NCC and MTN Nigeria announced a few days ago that the commercial rollout of the 5G technology in Nigeria would start from August 24.

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