5G Networks Offer Significant Advantages Over Current Technologies- Pantami

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The minister of communications and digital economy, prof Isa Ali Pantami stated that the 5G networks offer significant advantages over current technologies.

MoCDE Minister, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami made this known  at the occasion of the auctioning of the 3.5GHz spectrum for provisioning of 5G services in the country, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, north central Nigeria, while delivering his speech as the Special Guest of Honour at the event.

In his speech, Pantami mentioned Some of the advantages of %G spectrum which  Include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater a device density longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility.

According to him, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a National 5G Policy for Nigeria’s Digital Economy on September 8, 2021. The approval process followed a very robust debate at the Council. The National Policy contains all the necessary information guiding the processes and procedures for the deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria.

He state further that among other mandates, the Policy stipulated the collaboration with relevant stakeholders and provision of the required spectrum and enabling environment to ensure full deployment of 5G. This will harness the social and economic benefits that come along with it, and will serve as a catalyst for the successful implementation of our National Digital Economy Development and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria. The deployment of 5G will also support in the implementation of our National Broadband Plan.

In his words, “We have already made a number of giant strides in the development of our digital economy and the deployment of 5G networks will further support our efforts. For example, it is worthy of note that, as at the 10th of December, 2021, we have exceeded the 70 million mark in unique NIN enrolments. You will recall that we had just over 40 million enrolments in September, 2020. The additional enrolments, which are close to 30 million enrolments in a little over a year, constitute a truly great feat to the extent that other countries now want to learn from us”.

Furthermore, the National Policy noted the key role of the National Frequency Management Council in the allocation of spectrum for the deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria. The NFMC is also to “ensure that the required spectrum for 5G standard is made available in the most appropriate and timely manner to enable investments, innovation, and competition in the deployment of 5G services for the benefit of consumers and businesses.”

As the Chairman of NFMC, I have ensured that this has been done and today’s meeting is result of the activities of the NFMC for the implementation of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). On the implementation of the National Policy, the NCC under my supervision, is saddled with the responsibility of developing strategies, standards, guidelines and frameworks for the deployment of the 5G networks nationwide.

Accordingly, to ensure a coordinated approach, the Commission has been directed to not only collaborate with relevant agencies under the Ministry, but with all other relevant stakeholders in order to achieve the aims and objectives of the Policy. In addition to these, the National Policy has been developed to achieve many other goals, a few amongst which are:

i to ensure effective deployment of 5G to cover major urban areas by 2025;

  1. to ensure security of 5G ecosystem and the protection of data

III. ensure that international best practices and globally accepted standards and specifications are entrenched in Nigeria’s 5G ecosystem; and

  1. ensure that the required infrastructure needed for successful deployment of 5G networks such as data centres, power, etc, are catered for in deployment strategies of 5G networks.

The report of the 1st set of 5G-trials was critically reviewed and studied by stakeholders, with a view to understanding the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria. The review showed that 5G is safe for deployment in Nigeria and would not compromise our security as a country. This formed the basis for the development and eventual approval

of the National Policy.

Furthermore, leading international organizations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), organs of the United Nations, have so far confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks do not cause any adverse health effects and are safe.

He further said that following the successful mock spectrum auctioning process on the 10th of December, we are very happy to have the actual 3.5GHz auctioning process today. You will agree with me that the successful bidders and all other stakeholders have played an important role and still have an important role to play in this journey towards using 5G to support our national economic development agenda. I have directed the NCC to monitor the process for the deployment of 5G networks in the country and provide comprehensive regular updates to my office.

The Minister afterwards, officially declare the auctioning process open. He commended the Board and Management of the NCC, as well as all stakeholders on this landmark event.

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