What NCC expects you to know before installing a 5Ghz wireless radio

The 5Ghz frequency spectrum is arguably the most popular frequency spectrums. Thanks to the fact it contains the unlicensed frequencies and has multiple non-overlapping channels. Understandably so, almost every wireless equipment manufacturer wants to manufacture equipment operating in the 5Ghz frequency band. From Mikrotik, Ubiquiti, Cisco, D-link, just to name but a few. In this article, we will look at four things that NCC wants you to know before installing a 5Ghz wireless radio.

With popularity of these wireless devices comes the indiscriminate installation by people with little to zero knowledge of the rules governing the use of frequency spectrums. In Nigeria, for example, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that telecommunication equipment brought into the country are type-approved. The commission also ensures that users of the unlicensed 5Ghz frequency band adhere strictly to the unlicensed frequency range while making sure that they do not exceed the allowed maximum transmission power.

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Type Approval

Before installing a 5Ghz radio, it is expected of the user to know if the equipment is type-approved by NCC. Type approval is a process by which telecommunication equipment brought into the country are inspected by NCC to ensure that they operate seamlessly and safely with the Nigerian telecommunication environment. To be certain about the type approval status of a 5Ghz radio, before installation, click on this link https://ncc.gov.ng/technology/standards/type-approval#approved-equipment and enter your equipment name in the search field to confirm if it is listed or not. The list is updated regularly to ensure that new equipment are added.
If your equipment is not listed, it means it has not been submitted to NCC for type approval. You can either purchase any of the type-approved equipment listed on NCC’s website, capable of performing same task, or have your already purchased, not-type-approved equipment submitted to NCC for approval.


NCC type approval

If your equipment is type-approved, you can proceed to install and make sure that the settings on the radio comply with NCC’s approval for unlicensed 5Ghz frequency.


Unlicensed 5Ghz frequency range

Every country has a range of unlicensed 5Ghz frequency spectrum reserved for short-range, non-commercial use. In Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission reserves the 5Ghz frequency ranges of 5.25 – 5.35 and 5.725 – 5.875 for unlicensed use while 5.47 to 5.725 is strictly for licensed use. Unfortunately, most people think the entire 5Ghz frequency spectrum is unlicensed and free to use. The use of 5Ghz frequencies, not paid for, outside the ones listed above is criminal and can attract a jail term. Read more here.


Maximum transmission power.

When using frequencies from the unlicensed 5Ghz frequency spectrum, users are allowed a maximum tx power of 1Watt (1000Mw). For frequencies within the licensed 5Ghz frequency spectrum, users are allowed up to 4W.

Channel Width.

When using the unlicensed 5Ghz frequency spectrum, NCC recommends that users do not go beyond 20Mhz channel width. Using the 40Mhz, 50Mhz or 80Mhz channel width while using the unlicensed 5Ghz frequency spectrum constitutes an offense and is greatly frowned at by NCC.

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