‘5G Network Rollout Will Bridge Digital Divide’

TECH DIGEST – The Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has said 5G, when fully deployed will provide increased speed and bandwidth as well as provide deeper coverage to reach people in rural communities.

Danbatta, said this, while citing a recent landmark economy study conducted by Qualcomm, which stated that 5G would affect the global economy and drive growth exponentially.

Danbatta, who spoke through the Director, Public Affairs of NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, during a capacity building workshop organised by NCC for telecoms reporters in Lagos recently, however said there had been a lot of falsehoods and misinformation peddled about the health and safety implications of deploying 5G technology.

While allaying such fears, Danbatta said the recently published Draft Consultation Document on the Deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology in Nigeria by the NCC, would open further research into 5G deployment, while insisting that the Commission has not concluded plans for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network.

According to him, “Nigeria only undertook 5G trials in selected locations within the country in collaboration with an operator in 2019. The trial, among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. The Commission also has an ongoing engagement with the academia while at the same time funding 5G related research projects, all in a bid to ensure the nation is provided with the best in terms of research findings and policy input to drive the implementation and deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.”

Due to its sheer scale and scope, the International Telecoms Union (ITU), also predicted that 5G would accelerate the achievements of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) from affordable and clean energy to zero hunger.

“Many Nigerians including citizens in more civilized countries were hooked on the notion that the introduction of 5G technology was the reason behind the spread of the novel COVID-19 Pandemic. This misconception was even made worse because those saddled with the responsibility of informing, educating and enlightening the average Nigerian telecom consumers were also bereft of the knowledge of this new technology and hitched a ride on the band wagon of doubters,” Danbatta said.

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