Business - Business & Economy - News - September 2, 2021

After politics, Nigeria now finally ready for 5G rollout

MEDIATRACNET

The Federal Government says Nigeria is now ready for the deployment of the deployment of the 5G telecommunications networks in the country.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, who confirmed this in Abuja said the Commission was ready to implement the government’s decision to roll out 5G network nationwide.
Recently, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantai, said the government finally resolved to go ahead with the roll out plans after it was halted over concerns.
Although the Commission has always spoken of the country’s readiness to roll out the 5G network, the Senate expressed concerns about possible health risks posed by the mobile network technology.
Consequently, in May this year, the Senate Joint Committee on Science and Technology, ICT, Cyber Crime, and Primary Health urged the government to suspend all plans to deploy the 5G network in the country pending the conclusion of a six-months investigations into the issue.
The  decision by the Senate, which appeared to have been enmeshed in politics, effectively stalled efforts to fast-track the deployment of 5G networks across Nigeria.
The plans appeared to have been on course after the NCC announced the  signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) on the use of C-Band Spectrum for 5G services in the country.
The C-Band spectrum  is responsible for 60-70 percent of the commercial deployment of 5G networks globally.
Earlier this year, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) also raised concerns about the 5G over security.
The ONSA noted that a study by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) found out that 5G networks are susceptible to cyber attacks like 4G and 3G.
In July, the issue resurfaced during the debate on the electoral act amendment bill, particularly on the provision of the law supporting Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit election results by electronic means.
Lawmakers representing some sections of the country were opposed to the provision on the ground that the NCC confirmed the National Network Coverage was inadequate to support that arrangement.
However, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC who spoke during the reception of the newly posted Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Bitrus Bako Nabasu, in Abuja, said the Commission was now ready to go with the government plan.
“On the 5G, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has spoken about the federal government’s position to deploy 5G network as soon as possible. Our state of readiness is very high. “There’s an auction committee for 5G with a deployment plan ready. As you know, without a plan you cannot have a successful deployment.
“All we are asking is additional spectrum to be allocated by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) to go ahead with the auctions,” Danbatta said.

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