By Prince Osuagwu
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Thursday at the Social Media Week, Lagos, SMWL, cried out that if the power situation in the country does not improve from the level it is now, commercialisation of the fifth generation, 5G networks in Nigeria will be impacted negatively.
The commission said the power infrastructure gaps that currently exist in the country does not encourage that level of technology and prays things improve before telecom operators in Nigeria are ready for massive rollout of the business.
The commission also berated the current state of fibre infrastructure, saying the inadequacy in the country, is another major challenge to the massive deployment of 5G.
Speaking on 5G Network Deployment: Social Economic Benefits and Challenges, the Director, Technical Standard and Network Integrity, NCC, Bako Wakil, said 5G is a clear departure from other network generations like 3G and 4G because it was designed with huge capability and requirements for today and future need.
According to him, “having carried out a successful trial in the country, the next is commercialisation, but we have identified the erratic power situation and low fibre infrastructure as major limitations to deployment on a large scale in Nigeria.
“While the NCC can comfortably address the fibre infrastructure gap, power generation and distribution is not within our purview, but we are working with the relevant agencies to see what can be done.”
Fielding some questions from the moderator of the session, Dr Niyi Ibietan, who is also NCC’s Head of Online and Special Publication, Kenneth Uzoekwe, the Commission’s Assistant Director, Spectrum Administration, hinted that 5G’s importance and beauty also lie in the availability of spectrum.
He, however, revealed that lots of spectrum have been identified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), to aid the smooth deployment of 5G.
He added that whenever Nigeria is ready for commercial deployment of 5G network, some re-assignment of spectrums to fast track deployment will be made
Uzoekwe, who represented the Commission’s Director of Spectrum Administration, Austin Nwaulunne, said: “About six spectrum at higher bands have been marked down. They are available, but yet to be assigned.”
Uzoekwe said if broadband is successfully deployed in Nigeria, it will improve broadband availability, leading to faster downloading and uploading of contents; encourage financial inclusion, faster health care service delivery, smarter transport system and appliances.
On possible radiation emanating from 5G deployment, Wakil dismissed the claims. He explained that the radiation from mobile devices is not iodised, by so doing not harmful to the populace.