Following the successful completion of the 5G trial in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it will soon commence the consultation of industry stakeholders to review the policy document for the deployment of 5G in Nigeria in line with its powers under section 57 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.
Those the Commission has identified are Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, Office of the National Security Adviser, the National Assembly, Ministry of Health, National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency Consumer advocacy groups, Academia, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Medical Association, World Health Organisation, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Mobile Network Operators, Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Nigerian Institute of ICT Engineers, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria amongst others.
It added that the Consultative Document, which is currently being developed will be shared with these stakeholders and the general public, following which a Stakeholder Consultative Forum will be held and the views of all stakeholders will be considered in the final Policy. It also stressed that 5G will not be deployed in Nigeria until the Policy is concluded and approved.
“In line with NCC powers under section 57 of the NCA, and the need for wide public consultation, the process of developing this policy will involve a Public Inquiry which will involve all relevant stakeholders in the review and consultation process,” NCC disclosed in a public notice it circulated via social media and email.
Following global trends in telecommunications development of 5G, the Commission in November 2019, embarked on a Proof of Concept (trial) with MTN in six locations using different equipment vendors for a period of three (3) months. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were involved in the trial.
The trial was conducted to enable the Commission to assess the performance of the technology in comparison with existing technologies, evaluate compliance to health and safety guidelines and also use the lessons learned to guide Policy towards commercial deployment.
The trial which was conducted on the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands was successfully completed with a performance showing improvement of 5G over the previous technologies with the radiation levels well below the specified human safety guidelines. The equipment used in the trials has long been decommissioned in all the locations.
The Nigerian Communications Commission considered that the deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology will be beneficial for the socio-economic development of Nigeria. The technology is an advancement of existing mobile technologies (2G 4G) with enhanced capabilities providing new and enhanced mobile communications services.
Such enhancements include applications like the Internet of Things (loT). Artificial Intelligence (Al), Robotics, Drones, Advanced Communication Systems, Cloud, 3D Printing, Mixed Reality. Simulation /Imaging, Gamification. These will bring improvements in Manufacturing, Transportation, Public Services, Health and Social Works, Agriculture, Energy. Logistics, Media and Entertainment Mining and Quarrying, Machinery and Equipment, Automotive, Education, Information and Communication, Urban Infrastructure, Consumer experience, Sports, Semiconductor Technologies.
The deployment of 5G technologies will consequently promote the National Digital Economy for a Digital Nigeria that will improve the way Nigerians live and work. 5G has been deployed commercially and in use in some countries. AS with the previous technologies., the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has classified radiation from 5G as non-ionizing and therefore safe for human beings.