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FEC approves 5G policy for Nigeria to clear coast for commercial roll out

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The Federal Executive Council has approved the National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy.

With the latest development, commercial roll out of the 5G network in the country is finally near after the initial successful trial in 2019 facilitated by the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The FEC at its meeting on Wednesday approved the national policy with immediate effect following the presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

The National Policy has been developed over a period of 2 years, due to the need for extensive stakeholder engagement and the need to ensure adequate public awareness and sensitization.

Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistance to the minister said in a press release after the meeting that the stakeholder engagement that culminated in formulation of the policy was thorough and multi-sectoral in nature.

“It also took into account the report of the 3-month 5G trials that commenced on the 25th of November 2019.  The report critically reviewed and studied the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria,” the statement read.

Recall that 5G, known globally as the world’s fastest internet network, met controversies bothering on its safety status in Nigeria even after the successful trials in 2019 mid-wived  by the telecoms regulator, as some theories blamed it for the spread of Coronavirus pandemic that ravaged the globe in 2020.

However, leading international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an organ of the United Nations, have confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks leave no adverse health effect and are safe.

On the contrary, 5G networks offer significant advantages over the current technologies. Some of its advantages include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater device density, longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility.

While Nigeria has been busy paving the way for the deployment of 5G in the country, several countries have already commenced the deployment of the fastest internet technology the world has ever seen and are enjoying its benefits.

These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Lesotho, to mention but a few.

In the light of FEC’s approval of the policy, the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by Minister Pantami, will soon release spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that meet all the required conditions.

“The NCC, as the regulator of the telecommunications sector, will continue engaging stakeholders with a view to developing the regulatory instruments required for the successful deployment of the technology in Nigeria,” Adeluyi said.

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