Nigerian commences plans to develop policy for commercial deployment of 5G technology; seek stakeholders input

The Nigerian Communications Commission has commenced plans to develop a policy for the commercial deployment of fifth generation technology and is seeking the inputs of stakeholders.

The commission, in a statement on Thursday, explained that the trial conducted on the technology in 2019 indicated that 5G technology had improved performance over previous ones and would be beneficial for Nigeria’s socioeconomic development.

The statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs at the NCC, Dr Henry Nkemadu, stated that the deployment of 5G technologies would promote the national digital economy and improve the way Nigerians live and work.

The NCC said 5G had been deployed commercially in other countries and the International Commission for Non-ionising Radiation Protection had classified the radiation from 5G as non-ionising and safe for human beings.

“Following global trends in telecommunications development of 5G, the commission in November 2019 embarked on a proof of concept trial with MTN in six locations, using different equipment vendors for a period of three months,” the regulator stated.

It added, “The trial was conducted to enable the commission to assess the performance of the technology in comparison with existing technologies, evaluate compliance to health and safety guidelines and also use the lessons learnt to guide policy towards commercial deployment.

“The trial, which was conducted on the 3.5GHz and 26 GHz bands, was successfully completed with a performance showing improvement of 5G over the previous technologies with the radiation levels well below the specified human safety guidelines.”

The NCC said it was inviting contributions from stakeholders including the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Office of the National Security Adviser, the National Assembly, consumer advocacy groups, the academia, the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Nigerian Medical Association.

“The technology is an advancement of existing mobile technologies (2G – 4G) with enhanced capabilities providing new and enhanced mobile communications services,” it added.

The commission stated that the technology could be applied in areas of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, drones, advanced communication systems, cloud, 3D printing, mixed reality, simulation/imaging and gamification.

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