NCC approved 5Ghz usable unlicensed frequencies in Nigeria

Wireless connectivity is fast becoming the most popular medium of communication and Nigeria has experienced a monumental upsurge in the area connectivity using microwave radios as last mile equipment. Before the era of microwave, V-sat was Nigeria’s most common medium of connecting customers to the  internet, making connectivity slow and very expensive. In recent time, we have experienced a tremendous improvement in internet speed and a reduction in subscription and installation cost owing to the using of fibre optic cables and microwave radios for last mile to customers premises. With microwave radios, you get an improved speed, though not as fast as fibre, at a lower cost of installation compared to fibre and V-sat. This has made microwave the most popular means of deploying internet to corporate customers in Nigeria. However, most organisations are guilty of breaking the NCC rule governing the use of unlicensed frequencies in Nigeria mainly because of the ignorance of their IT teams. Because they say ignorance of the law is not an excuse, I have decided to write this post on what you need to know about NCC approved 5Ghz unlicensed frequency band before deploying 5Ghz radios for point to point or point to multipoint.

The 5Ghz band provides for more non overlapping channels when compared to the 2.4Ghz band. In Nigeria in particular, it is common to find people with little or no knowledge of frequency utilization  acquire wireless 5Ghz radios, enter the basic configuration commands needed to establish connectivity, have these radios installed on towers and start sending out signals without regards to what the law says. Well, it is an offence to broadcast wireless signals out frequencies you do not own. It is criminal and attracts jail terms. Since most of the microwave radios used in Nigeria are manufactured abroad, these radios come pre-configured with government approved frequencies for the manufacturers’ countries, and unfortunately most people in Nigeria tend not to change these frequencies since they do not know what is approved in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications commission (NCC) has approved the use of the following unlicensed frequencies for use. They are from 5.745 – 5.855. You are to stick to these frequencies at all time. In a detailed format, they are: 5745, 5750,5755,5760,5765,5770,5775,5780,5785,5790,5795,5800,5805,5810,5815,5820,5825,5830,5835,5840,5845,5850, and 5855.

Mikrotik comes with the default frequency of 5180. Most people are fond of leaving their radios at this frequency. You can see from the list above that this frequency is not approved for unlicensed use in Nigeria. See the image below for how to set your frequency when using an unlicensed 5Ghz radio in Nigeria.
For the AP:

For the Station:

Once you have entered the required configuration details on the station, click on the scan button and connect to the AP.

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