Nigeria: NCC Currently Formulating Policies for Nigeria's 5G - Danbatta

15 October 2020

According to the ITU, 5G technology is expected to connect people, things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in smart networked communicons environments.

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has said that it is working with multi-sector stakeholders to formulate policies for the 5th generation (5G) mobile network.

The Executive Vice Chairperson of NCC, Umaru Danbatta, made this known on Wednesday during a virtual innovative tech forum organised by Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA).

The theme of the event was 'Multi-Stakeholders Approach to National Recovery Post-Pandemic'.

Mr Danbatta said that the stakeholders included the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

He said other bodies working with the commission to establish the 5G policy were Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Academia, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), among others.

"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.

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

Mr Danbatta said that the economic benefits of 5G to Nigeria post coronavirus pandemic would be huge, especially as almost all businesses and activities of government are migrating and offering their services online.

He noted that 5G would enable a new kind of network for Nigerians, adding that it is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects and devices.

Mr Danbatta said it would usher in the era of Internet of Things and faster innovation in Artificial Intelligence 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," he said.

He said that according to a landmark economy study conducted by QUALCOMM, 5G would affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially.

He noted that its full economic effect would likely be realised across the globe by 2035, adding that it would be supporting a wide range of industries and potentially enabling up to 13.2 trillion dollars worth of goods and services.

"We are all aware of the controversies surrounding COVID-19 and 5G technology. It is normal for the emergence of new technologies to be followed by such disagreements and the debate is mostly useful.

"We at the Commission, however, are inevitably committed to examining the pros and cons.

"The socio-economic benefits of the expansion in telecommunications capabilities embarked upon by the Commission would be of immense benefit to the country, especially with the roll out of the 5G technology, which currently is being test run in about 40 countries," Danbatta said.

He noted that rollout would be a significant upgrade for networks and also a backbone for the ICT industry post-pandemic recovery.

Mr Danbatta said according to the ITU, 5G technology was expected to connect people, things, data, applications, transport systems and cities in smart networked communicons environments.

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