Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has cleared the air on the recent scare about the Fifth Generation (5G) Technology’s health implications and its deployment in Nigeria, saying that the materials circulating about them are misleading and not proven.
The NCC made this known through a press statement on Sunday signed by its Director, Public Affairs, Dr Henry Nkemadu, emphasising that there is no correlation between the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 5G Technology.
Dr Nkemadu said in the statement:
“Firstly, there is no correlation between 5G Technology and COVID-19. 5G is an advancement on today’s 4G technology designed to transform the world positively. Secondly, there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. The NCC back in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for a period of three (3) months and that the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.
“The trial among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were invited to participate during the trial. The NCC will continue to maintain its policy of technology neutrality and will continue to encourage Service providers to deploy the best technology that will meet the needs of the society in a secured and friendly manner,” the Director stated.
The Director explained that though the 5G spectrums are available in the country, they have not been auctioned to any network operators. He said the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) headed by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy are the ones who have the responsibility and power to allocate bulk spectrum for various services.
Dr Nkemadu stated that the 5G radiation is not different from that of the 2G, 3G or 4G, saying that it has already been deployed in western countries since 2019. He stated that there are radiation emission limits set by the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) below which the radiation is considered safe for humans.
He further assured that the NCC monitors the compliance of Network operators by regularly conducting measurements of radiation emissions from Base stations across the country and they are all well below the set limits.
He assured that the masses have nothing to be afraid of, saying: “Safety and human health are top priority in the design and deployment of 5G.”
Explaining why some network operators have been rolling out fibre during the lockdown, he said: “As a result of the lockdown, the amount of voice and data usage has increased by huge amounts and there is need to expand the network to provide optimum quality of service to users sitting at home.” He explained that fibre cable is a terrestrial technology for broadband that existed for decades while 5G is a new mobile technology and that both are not the same.
Finally, he admonished Nigerians to rely on information from world standards-making bodies such as World Health Organisation(WHO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and industry experts.