The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has weighed in on the 5G controversy rocking Nigeria for some time now. The communication regulator said it is developing a policy framework that will guide the deployment of 5G in Nigeria.
In a document titled: Development OF A Policy For Deployment Of 5G In Nigeria, issued on Thursday and signed by the Director, Public Affairs, Henry Nkemadu, the Commission noted that there is nothing wrong with the 5G technology as it is being rumored. It added that all necessary tests and trials relating to the safety of the technology have been carried out successfully.
The senate had earlier directed that every 5G related business in Nigeria be suspended as it awaits the report of its committee on technology that was investigating allegations of harm and conspiracy theories surrounding the 5G spectrum.
With this document released by the NCC, it seems Nigeria is ready once again to resume its 5G business.
Read the full text of the document below.
The Nigerian Communication Commission is mandated by Section 4(a) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (the NCA), to prepare and implement programmes and plans that promote and ensure the development of the communications industry and the provision of communications services in Nigeria.
Further to this mandate, the Commission considered that the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology will be beneficial for socio-economic development of Nigeria. The Technology is an advancement of existing mobile technologies (2G – 4G) with enhanced capabilities providing new and enhanced mobile communication services.
Such enhancements include applications like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 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 etc.
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 (ICNRP) has classified radiation from 5G as non-ionizing and therefore safe for human beings.
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 assess the performance of the technology in comparison with existing technologies, evaluate compliance to health and safety guidelines and also use the lessons learnt to guide policy toward commercial deployment.
The trial which was conducted on the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands was successfully completed with 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 have long been decommissioned in all the locations.
In view of the successful completion of the trial and a directive from the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, the Commission Commenced the development of a policy for the deployment of 5G in Nigeria. In line with its power 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.
The following stakeholders have been identified: Ministry of Communication & Digital economy, office of the National Environmental Standards & Regulations Enforcement Agency, Consumer advocacy groups, Academia, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Medical Association, World Health Organization, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Mobile Network Operators, Nigerian Institute of ICT Engineers, Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria amongst others.
The consultative document is currently being developed and will be shared with stakeholders and general public, following which a stakeholder Consultative Forum will be held. The views of all stakeholders will be considered in the final policy.
Accordingly, the details of the proposed public consultation will be widely published in due course. 5G will not be deployed in Nigeria until the policy is concluded and approved.