The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will begin consultations with relevant stakeholders so as to develop policies towards the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.
The NCC in a statement said it was mandated by Section 4(q) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (the NCA), to prepare and implement programmes and plans that promote and ensure the development of the communications industry and the provision of communications services in Nigeria.
The commission said trials had already been conducted to assess the technology and gave its assurances on 5Gs safety for human beings.
The trial, it said “was conducted to enable the Commission 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 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands was successfully completed with performance showing improvement of 5G over the previous technologies with the radiation levels well below the specified human safety guidelines. The equipment used in the trials, NCC said, have long been decommissioned in all the locations.
The statement signed by Dr. Henry Nkemadu, the director of public affairs at NCC said the Commission had considered that the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology will be beneficial for socio-economic development of Nigeria.
The technology Nkemadu said, “Is an advancement of existing mobile technologies (2G – 4G) with enhanced capabilities providing new and enhanced mobile communications services.”
Such enhancements, he said included applications like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Drones, Advanced Communication Systems, Cloud, 3D Printing, Mixed Reality, Simulation / Imaging, Gamification.
“These will bring improvements in Manufacturing, Transportation, Public Services, Health and Social Works, Agriculture, Energy, Logistics, Media and Entertainment, Mining and Quarrying, Machinery and Equipment, Automotive, Education, Information and Communication, Urban Infrastructure, Consumer experience, Sports, Semiconductor Technologies etc.”
The deployment of 5G technologies, NCC said, would consequently promote the National Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria that will improve the way Nigerians live and work. 5G has been deployed commercially and in use in some countries.
“As with the previous technologies, the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has classified radiation from 5G as non-ionizing and therefore safe for human beings.”
Nkemadu said, “In view of the successful completion of the trial and a directive from the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, the Commission commenced the development of a policy for the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.
“In line with its powers under section 57 of the NCA, and the need for wide public consultation, the process of developing this policy will involve a Public Inquiry which will involve all relevant Stakeholders in the review and consultation process.”