The Executive Vice Chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, has reassured Nigerian public that his agency has began implementation of measures to ensure the safe operation of 5G in the country when finally deployed.
The reassurance came on the heel of a recent outcry by top ten US airliners over a possible threat of deployment of the technology near most airports, citing possible tech interference with wide body airplanes’ navigational aid.
In December, two service providers in MTN and Mafab Communications emerged winners in the country’s 5G spectrum license auction.
Danbatta who congratulated the two companies on their feat, said the country was ready to commit to technological developments to ensure safety.
“It is my pleasure to announce that at the end of the auction, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited emerged as provisional licence winners,” he had said.
Danbatta’s reassurance is coming amid the raging controversy over the possible disruptive effect of 5G services on aviation safety in parts of the world.
Global concerns over the compatibility of 5G operation with aviation services heightened on Monday when the chief executives of major US passenger and cargo carriers warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis in less than 36 hours when AT&T and Verizon deploy new 5G service.
The airlines warned the new C-Band 5G service set to begin today could render a significant number of widebody aircraft unusable, “could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas” and cause “chaos” for US flight.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had also warned that potential interference could affect sensitive airplane instruments such as altimeters and significantly hamper low-visibility operations.
“With the proposed restrictions at selected airports, the transportation industry is preparing for some service disruption. We are optimistic that we can work across industries and with the government to finalise solutions that safely mitigate as many schedule impacts as possible,” plane maker Boeing said on Monday. Action is urgent, the airlines added in the letter also signed by UPS Airlines, Alaska Air, Atlas Air, JetBlue Airways and FedEx Express.