Despite public outcry, FG okays deployment of 5G network

5G mast base stations set on white and dark background, flat vector illustration of mobile data towers, telecommunication antennas and signal, cellular equipment.
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After several denials of reports that it was laying the infrastructure for the eventual deployment of 5G telecommunications network, Nigeria’s Government has announced that it is going to deploy services of the network in the country.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, made this known to State House Correspondents at the end of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to the minister, the new network will help open up opportunities in the economic, educational and health sectors, adding that security agencies will also benefit a lot from the network.

Pantami said: “I presented (a memo) before the Federal Executive Council and it was approved after deliberation. This is the National Policy on 5th Generation network for Nigeria’s digital economy. That policy has been approved by the Federal Executive Council today.

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“Furthermore, the policy discusses the benefits to be attained through the deployment of 5-G in Nigeria and any part of the world which includes lower latency, larger capacity and higher data rate.

“In a simple language we can say it will open many opportunities economically, educationally and even in the health sector, and it will also support our security institutions particularly in areas where they need high quality services.”

He noted that the network would have been deployed since last year but there was a lot of outcry from the Nigerian public, which made the government take action to give room for more consultations.

“In the year 2020 there was a time that we started the 5th Generation trial but there were complaints from citizens about the relationship between 5-G and COVID-19. But because our government is a responsible one, we decided then, to put everything on hold and engage more stakeholders and we spent almost 18 months working on that.

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“We also waited for the resolution or verdict of the two most important organisations globally when it comes to the deployment of telecommunications facilities. These are the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), which are both arms of the United Nations.

“Both of them confirmed that there is no adverse health hazard associated with 5-G, and it has not been proven to be harmful to human health.

He said the deployment of the network would be in phases, as it will start with major cities of the country, where there is need for high quality broadband, between now and 2025.