In spite of the numerous attacks on both the concept of 5G itself and destruction to some of its infrastructure in some parts of the world this year arising mainly from COVID-19 misconceptions, the technology keeps advancing. However, the 5G network capabilities were in doubt that also hindered its progress because it was introduced in the same year the Coronavirus outbreak, which brought about the controversial remarks relating the virus with the network.
Reminiscing at what we have achieved using the previous 4G network was enough proof to disagree with the debate of 5G being the source of the virus outbreak, as most countries happen to have embraced the network due to its profitable attributes as a recovery tool to revive economies that have largely been affected by the virus outbreak. Analysts forecasted that 5G would attain times two of the economic value the previous 4G network accomplished.
The Nigerian Communications Commission recently announced they would be introducing the fifth-generation (5G) in the country. They are constructing a network policy for diverse economic sectors to regulate network data usage. The NCC Executive Vice-chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, also disclosed that he sees the 5G platform as a recovery tool for the Nigerian economy. He added that the digital economy has increasingly contributed to the Nigerian GDP on an annual basis and this is set to grow with the introduction of the 5G technology into the Nigerian market.
During the Multi-Stakeholder Approach to National Recovery Post-Pandemic conference that hosted the NCC Vice-Chairman as its special guest, he noted that the commission intends to expand the 5G network as a post-pandemic recovery tool and a regulatory policy that is also beneficiary to other socio-sectors.
He said: “The Commission is vigorously working to establish a policy for 5G with multi-sector Stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Academia, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), etc.”
“Our goal is that when the federal government can establish a policy that will drive 5G, all the benefits of 5G will be properly harnessed by Nigerians. The commission I also working on the safety of 5G networks in Nigeria by having a multi-stakeholder approach in environmental impact analysis on 5G and the Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) impacts humans in Nigeria. Once this is done, Nigerians can safely utilize 5G and reap all the economic, human, and material benefits of 5G.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many startups already leveraged on the growing 4G coverage area in Nigeria to promote remote working among others. In contrast, others had to improvise by establishing the work-from-home policy, which changed our typical livelihood. As a result of the mandatory work from home policy to workers across Nigeria, there was a true capacity test for the growing 4G service in Nigeria and while many were able to work seamlessly from home, others saw a deficiency in capacity to carry data efficiently across multiple servers globally. This gave the perfect platform to begin introducing 5G to the Nigerian market as analysts predict that more workers will work remotely over the next decade and beyond.
The commission has the sole objective of advancing with technology and deploying new generation connectivity to grow the economy and support ICT infrastructures.