The Nigerian Communications Commission, Friday, at the Social Media Week in Lagos, 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 prayed things improve before telecom operators in Nigeria are ready for massive roll out of the business.
The commission also berated the current state of fibre infrastructure, saying the inadequacy in the country was another major challenge to 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 was a clear departure from other network generations such as 3G and 4G, because it was designed with huge capability and requirements for today and future need.
He said: “Having carried out 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 are not within our purview, but we are working with the relevant agencies to see what can be done.”
Fielding 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 laid in the availability of spectrum.
He, however, revealed that lots of spectrum has been identified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), to aid 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, explaining that the radiation from mobile devices was non-iodised and, therefore, not harmful to the populace.