Nigerian government okays commercial rollout of 5G network

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Nigeria is now set for commercial rollout of 5G network as the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the country’s highest decision-making body, today in Abuja approved the 5G Policy for Nigeria.  

With the approval of the National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy, following the presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, 5G spectrum auction is expected to take place this last quarter of the year.

“The implementation of the National Policy is with immediate effect. The National Policy has been developed over a period of 2 years, due to the need for extensive stakeholder engagement and the need to ensure adequate public awareness and sensitization. The stakeholder engagement was thorough and multi-sectoral in nature,” notes an official statement by the Technical Assistant (on Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi.

“It also took into account the report of the 3-month 5G trials that commenced on the 25th of November 2019. The report critically reviewed and studied the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.

“Leading international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an organ of the United Nations, have confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks leave no adverse health effect and are safe,” the statement further notes.

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According to the minister’s aide, “the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by Minister Pantami, will soon release spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that meet all the required conditions.

“The NCC, as the regulator of the telecommunications sector, will continue engaging stakeholders with a view to developing the regulatory instruments required for the successful deployment of the technology in Nigeria.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is trailing behind South Africa which launched 5G services last year June and Kenya which unveiled similar services this April.

5G networks offer significant advantages over the current technologies. Some of its advantages include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater device density, longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility.

Several countries have already commenced the deployment of 5G and are enjoying its benefits. These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, and Republic of Korea to mention but a few.


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