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NCC denies issuing licence for 5G network operation

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has maintained its stance that it has not issued 5G license to any operator in the country.

In reaction to a false statement in circulation on social media that the Nigerian Telecoms industry is going to switch on 5G in Lagos this Sunday 10th, Monday 11th or Tuesday 12th May 2020, the commission released a statement signed on Monday by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr Henry Nkemadu.

The Commission insisted that the statement which came from faceless sponsors cannot be further from the truth, wondering why people would continue to misinform the public after it had provided clarification on the lying of fibre optic cables within Lagos and other parts of the country, earlier this year.

Recall that the NCC had in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for three (3) months and that the trial has since been concluded and installation decommissioned.

The trial among others was only to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were present to participate during the trial, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta said.

The statement reads in part: ‘‘The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been drawn to a mischievous statement making the rounds on social media like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites that the Nigerian Telecoms industry is going to switch on 5G in Lagos this Sunday 10th, Monday 11th or Tuesday 12th May 2020.

‘‘The statement from the faceless individuals or groups cannot be further from the truth. The Commission has unequivocally stated that there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. The NCC back in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for three (3) months and that the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.

‘‘The NCC had provided clarifications of Frequently Asked Questions on 5G given the recent developments in which misleading materials with no proven evidence are being circulated to link CORONAVIRUS or COVID-19 with 5G Technology and therefore refutes the claim that there will be switching on of 5G in Lagos in its entirety.

‘‘The Commission also provided clarifications on the laying of fibre optic cables within Lagos and other parts of the country to the effect that the laying of additional fibre optic cables is to strengthen the existing 3G and 4G infrastructure to provide robust and pervasive telecoms infrastructure to improve network performance.

‘’NCC has not issued any licence for 5G in Nigeria and therefore the mobile network operators (MNOS) cannot switch on such technology. NCC is technology-neutral as such we don’t license technology but assigns spectrum to operators for deployment of any service when allocated by National Frequency Management Council (NFMC),’’ Danbatta said.

He reiterated that 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 only in a secured and friendly manner.

He thereby enjoined Nigerians to rely on the agency for accurate information rather than believing information from social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform/misguide the people.

In affirmation, he said 5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology which is an improvement of today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities. It provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to improve the way of life and work.

Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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