The deployment of telecoms equipment by mobile network operators (MNOs) across Lagos and other states is entirely to expand their networks infrastructure across the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said.
In a statement signed by the agency's spokesperson, Henry Nkemmadu, it said the fibres would enable the provision of more efficient services to consumers.
In the statement, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, said the clarification is in response to insinuations being spread by some individuals through viral videos, audio and textual contents on social media.
He said through these platforms, they wrongly claim that some ongoing digging/excavation activities and laying of fibre optic cables by MNOs in Lagos and in some other states are connected to 5G equipment deployments.
"As we speak, any information suggesting or claiming that the equipment being deployed by the network operators are 5G equipment is purely misinformation deliberately orchestrated by individuals bent on creating ill-feelings in the industry," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
He advised Nigerians to disregard such unfounded and ill-motivated information in its entirety regardless of whoever, no matter how highly-placed or lowly-placed, is making the insinuation.
"As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people," the statement highlighted.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and the management of the NCC, as well as the Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) in January, held meetings and the action by some operators is in accordance with the agreement reached.
During the meeting, the Forum gave its commitment to allow the network operators to expand their networks by granting right of way (RoW) approvals for telecommunications infrastructure expansion, unhindered, across their states.
This will significantly reduce drop calls and improve networks performance of the operating companies.
"That is exactly what was or is ongoing in Lagos and in other states. It is to improve their network's infrastructure," he said in the statement.
While emphasising that the earth-digging and cable laying activities by the operators has nothing to do with 5G deployment, he said continuous network expansion is a requirement from the operators for efficient service delivery on their networks, as this helps to expand their network capacity and robustness.
"Mr Danbatta, however, re-emphasised that the Commission has not commenced any licensing process for 5G, saying what the Commission had carried out was a 5G trial for three months, during which it will be able to certify its safety to end-users and guarantee its desirability for deployment in the economy," the statement highlighted.
"In line with our regulatory process with respect to technology-neutrality, type-approval and other regulations aimed at protecting the citizens and ensuring standards are complied with in the Nigerian telecoms industry, NCC ensures that adequate trial is conducted before a new technology is introduced,"
"This is essentially to ensure public safety. This is a priority for us at NCC. Similar trials were carried out by NCC on earlier technologies that we use today, ranging from 2G, 3G and 4G."