NCC intensifies push for 5G deployment

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has assured that it was working with multi-sector stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), for a policy framework to push 5G deployment in the country.

Other stakeholders, it said, are 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 others.

Its Vice Chairman, Prof. Garba Danbatta, who spoke during the virtual Innovative Tech Forum organised by the National Information Technology Reporters Association of Nigeria (NITRA), said a lot of opportunities and benefits await the economy through 5G.

Represented by Ubale Ahmed Maska, an Executive Commissioner at NCC, Prof Dambatta, said: “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 a multi-stakeholder approach in environmental impact analysis on the use of 5G and the Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) impact on humans in Nigeria. Once this is done, Nigerians can safely utilise 5G and reap all the economic, human, and material benefits of 5G.’’

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He said the economic benefits of 5G post-COVID-19 will be huge, especially as almost all businesses and activities of government are migrating to online to offer services.

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

“Nigeria’s vibrant youth population stands to benefit immensely from the deployment of 5G as it will offer technopreneurs, technology enthusiasts, SMEs, and Tech-startups the platform to expand and network with other global players on a scale that has never been witnessed before.”

“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.”

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According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 5G technology is expected to connect people, things, data, applications, transport systems, and cities in smart networked communications environments. 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.

He said a landmark economy study conducted by QUALCOMM revealed that 5G would affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially. The study further showed 5G’s full economic effect will likely be realised across the globe by 2035 – supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to $13.2 trillion worth of goods and services.

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“5G promises to provide increased speed and bandwidth as well as providing deeper coverage to reach people in rural or challenging locations.

“In addition, 5G will provide strong security for the various sectors of government and private organizations. Due to its sheer scale and scope, the ITU predicts 5G will accelerate the achievement of all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from affordable and clean energy to zero hunger,” the EVC said.

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