Stakeholders Back FG’s 5G Network Rollout Approval, Assure Nigerians of High Speed Data Connectivity, Low Latency

telecom - September 16, 2021

Industry stakeholders under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), have applauded the federal government for approving the rollout of the fifth generation (5G) network in Nigeria stressing that the approval was a step in the right direction.

Citing the unconfirmed rumors that 5G network contributes to the spread of COVID-19 and also pose huge health risk, a section of the Nigerian public had berated the government for accenting to the commencement of the rollout of the fifth generation network in Nigeria

But the Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, told THISDAY that there had not been any known scientific report from any recognised health bodies, which claimed that 5G network could trigger COVID-19 spread and could post health risk on human health.

Contrary to their beliefs, Adebayo said 5G technology would enhance rapid digital transformation in the country, boost high speed data connectivity for video streaming, while maintaining very low latency period, which is the actual time it takes for a data packet to travel from one designated point to another, in the course of completing a transactional target.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, had last week, announced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved the rollout of 5G network in Nigeria, a development that raised dust among some Nigerians that had earlier kicked against 5G rollout, citing health implications and the fast spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which they said, are associated with 5G rollout.

Reacting to their fears, Adebayo said although there had not been any known negative effect of 5G on humans, he however said the many advantages attached to 5G rollout, could assuage all perceived disadvantages.

“5G delivers improved data rates, up to 100 times faster than current mobile networks, supporting virtually instant access to services and applications, with network latency significantly reduced. In addition, it offers network slicing technology making it possible to dedicate a unique part of a 5G network for a particular service,” Adebayo said.

He listed the three key advantages of 5G network over 4G network, to include: Higher speed rate of data, Larger data capacity, and Lower latency.

He further explained that the deployment of 5G would require significant investment from mobile operators and other stakeholders. “We need more investment in the sector. In terms of possibilities and use cases, 5G enables increasingly intelligent personal assistant in the cloud, providing information and offering on-demand services to customers, Adebayo further said.

Comparing 5G technology with other forms of technology, Adebayo said: “2G technology is basically deployed for voice communication, while 3G covers voice and data, and 4G is meant for video streaming with heavy video content. But the 5G, which is an improvement on 4G technology, comes with higher connectivity and higher download speed, with larger data capacity and picture quality.”

Giving details of global adoption rate of 5G, Adebayo said most countries of the world are fast adopting 5G network for faster development. He explained that the device for high rate adoption would be the smart mobile phone.

Citing global statistics, Adebayo said 5G global adoption rate is estimated to reach 235 million by the end of 2021, 645 million by 2022, 1,240 million by 2023, 1,815 million by 2024 and 2,457 million by 2025, with Huawei Technologies taking the lead among technology companies that are developing 5G technology, followed Ericsson, Hisilicon and Nokia.

Pantami, in his submission on 5G, revealed that the radiation of the 5G Policy is lower than that of 4G currently in use by Nigerians while the deployment of the policy which is with immediate effect would be carried out in phases between now and 2025.

Pantami however said it took government close to two years to come up with the 5G policy because of the initial resistance by stakeholders, who claimed that the 5G technology has serious health implications.

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