The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that it was working to ensure that urban centers in the country are 5G enabled by 2025.
However, it said telecoms subscribers in the country would not be forced to use the technology.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, revealed this at the Industry Consumer Advisory Forum (ICAF) Quarterly Meeting and Open Forum 2021 in Lagos, on Thursday, saying that Nigeria cannot be left behind in the deployment of the technology.
Represented by the Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, the NCC boss said 5G is the next evolution of the mobile communications technology that is capable of creating new opportunities for growth in the economy by enabling new and dynamic business models, and opening up new opportunities and markets.
He explained that the technology also provides tremendous improvements in interpersonal communications with several innovations and services.
“It is indeed noteworthy that the NCC has been consistent and profound in instituting regulatory measures that will promote 5G deployment,” Danbatta said.
Furthermore, he said as a precursor to the commencement of the commercial deployment of 5G network in the country, the Commission has submitted a 5G Development Plan (5GDP) to the Federal Government for final approval towards the effective deployment of the technology.
He noted that the Plan was to ensure efficient assignment of spectrum for the deployment of 5G; create an enabling environment for investment in the sector; and ensure the security of the 5G ecosystem.
Also, he said the plan would ensure the protection of data; as well as ensure that international best practices and globally accepted standards are entrenched in Nigeria’s 5G ecosystem.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, said the fact that earlier generations of technology have not been fully utilised does not mean the country shouldn’t deploy new technologies.
Adebayo, who said 5G has come to stay in the country, again, debunked claims that the technology has anything to do with COVID-19 or cancer. He said conspiracy theories about mobile phone technology have been circulating since the 1990s, and have long historical roots.
According to him, expert opinion issued by authorities such as the WHO, GSMA, and ICNIRP has affirmed that base station signals and radiation are non-ionising and do not pose a risk of predisposition to cancer or any other disease.