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Participants at SMW-Lagos 2020 identify two drawbacks to 5G in Nigeria

Industry experts who converged in Lagos at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC)-sponsored Special Panel Session on fifth Generation (5G) networks at the ongoing Social Media Week (SMW-Lagos 2020) held at the Landmark Event Centre in Victoria Island, have identified electricity crisis and the challenge of fibre cable broadband deployment across the country as the two major drawbacks facing 5G in the country.

In his analysis of how 5G network works, the Director technical Standards and Network Integrity, Engr Bako Wakil explained that by nature, 5G is coming with a supersonic speed with very low latency which can drive digital inclusion with greater ease more than 3G and 4G combined.

According to him, 5G deployment will among other things, fast track development of smart city scheme of different state governments, ease up educational activities and deepen automation of every system for full takeoff of Internet of Things (IoT).

Wakil made it clear that effective 5G deployment that is powered by steady electricity and fibre broadband can change the face of any economy within few years because of the speed of downloads, access and transmission.

Contributing, another panellist, who doubles as an Assistant Director, Spectrum Administration at NCC, Engr Kenneth Uzoekwe, observed that whereas several good things are expected to come from 5G on deployment in Nigeria, he also noted that because of the non-ionised radiation it comes with, chances of becoming a health threat is limited.

Corroborating this point, Wakil added that available research reports show that if there should be any form of heath threats, those coming from access to 5G would not be as 4G because the network is ‘devise target-based’ and that is why the radiation is classified as cumulatively reduced and of on health effect to users.

Both technical panellists revealed that there are chances that deployment of 4G may phase out several trending phones because of component compatibility except in access to 5G Wifi.

Before the end of the panel discussion moderated by Head, Online Media & Special Publications, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, conferees agreed that having identified the two key challenges that would hobble 5G deployment in Nigeria, the best bet for the country is to retool the power sector for steady electricity and work out any possible model that will see that all the hanging submarine cables languishing at the Lagos seashores are wired into the hinterlands and across all the 774 LGAs as soon as possible and ahead of the commercial availability of 5G in the nearest future.