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5G: NCC Heats Up Preview For Adoption And Deployment With Stakeholder Engagement

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Nigeria is not left behind in tapping into the benefits of the fifth-generation (5G) technology.

In his Keynote Address at a Webinar organised by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), a Virtual Forum tagged ‘Innovative Tech Forum 2020’, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the socio-economic benefits of the expansion in telecommunications capabilities it embarked upon would be of immense benefit to the country, especially with the rollout of the 5G technology, which currently is being test-run in about 40 countries.

His address which was later read by the Commission’s Director of Technical Standards & Network Integrity, Engineer Bako Wakil noted that this development will be a significant upgrade for networks and will be the backbone for the ICT industry post-pandemic recovery.

According to Prof. Danbatta, the NCC is currently exploring viable options regarding the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.

“Our goal is that when the Federal Government is able to establish a policy that will drive 5G, all the benefits of 5G will be properly harnessed by Nigerians. The Commission is also working to ensure the safety of 5G networks in Nigeria by having multi-stakeholder approach in environmental impact analysis on the use of 5G and the Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) impact on humans in Nigeria.”

He noted that the Commission is liaising with multi-sector Stakeholders, which include the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), The Academia, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Industry Consultative Advisory Forum (ICAF) and a host of others.

“Once this is done, Nigerians can safely utilize 5G and reap all the economic, human and material benefits of 5G,” Danbatta said.

5G is meant to seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility – providing extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions.

The EVC noted that the economic benefits to 5G to Nigeria post pandemic will be huge, especially as almost all businesses and activities of government are migrating and offering their services online.

“5G will enable a new kind of network for Nigerians designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. It will usher in the era of Internet of Things and faster innovation in Artificial Intelligence applications,” he said.

Making reference to a study conducted by Qualcomm, Danbatta said 5G will affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially.

According to the study, “5G’s full economic effect will likely be realized across the globe by 2035 – supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 Trillion worth of goods and services. This impact is much greater than previous network generations.”

“With high speeds, superior reliability and negligible latency, 5G will expand the mobile ecosystem into new realms.

“5G promises to impact every industry, creating safer transporting systems, improving access to healthcare for our rural populace, increasing output from the agriculture sector, and digitized logistics among others.

Danbatta is optimistic that due to its sheer scale and scope, and based on the ITU prediction, 5G will accelerate the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) from affordable and clean energy to zero hunger,” he said.

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