Rooting 5G Network Technology in Nigeria, by Zeenat O. Sambo

…in order to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks to improve digital services and the economy, NITDA, NCC and other stakeholders in the ICT industry should ensure the formulation of a regulatory framework to ensure the creation of new opportunities for Nigerian businesses at home and abroad which will in turn encourage massive investment in the country.

It is gratifying that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and MTN Nigeria are set to launch 5G technology in August with the aim of entrenching digital flow across the country. This giant leap represented yet another victory towards achieving a more robust and vibrant digital ecosystem in Nigeria.

As the agency tasked with coordinating the deployment of the 5G network, NCC said it will ensure spectrum deployment to accelerate the growth of broadband in Nigeria with support from the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

NCC’s Executive Vice President, Prof. Umar Danbatta, announced in a press release that commercial operators will start rolling out 5G services on August 24, as confirmed by MTN.

Meanwhile, the 5G spectrum is a range of radio frequencies in the sub-6 GHz range and the millimeter wave frequency range which is 24.25 GHz and above. Simply put, it’s a premium network that brings substantial improvements over 4G networks, including faster connection speeds, greater capacity, and low latency.

Therefore, with this increased performance, 5G networks can enable new use cases with easy connectivity and expansion.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there were widespread concerns about the health implications stemming from the rollout of 5G, but leading international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have established that the deployment of the 5G network does not cause any adverse health effects or complications.

As the demand for broader spectrum to serve the proliferation of everyday internet users is on the rise, many people are wondering what advantage 5G spectrum/network could primarily offer in scaling the Digital Economy.

It is on this note that the engagement of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy for Digital Nigeria is more geared towards guiding of its policies towards the adoption of 5G technology for a more robust and sustainable digital ecosystem.

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…midband 5G technology and services are also expected to improve healthcare, education, public safety and response times. Efficient deployment of the 5G network in urban areas will enable network operators to also deliver ultra-high-speed broadband services to suburban and low-density areas, supporting home and business applications that are prohibitively expensive to install.

With more devices connected and growing data traffic per user, 5G networks will face greater capacity demands than previous generations of mobile devices and greater diversion from businesses seeking digital solutions will be enhanced. with appropriate applications.

However, technology analysis has revealed that upgrades from 2G networks to 3G networks, along with further advances to 4G, have dramatically increased the benefits that economies have gained from mobile technology. Experts have predicted that 5G networks will generate around $960 billion in GDP by 2030, with midband spectrum driving most of those gains.

Again, midband 5G technology and services are also expected to improve healthcare, education, public safety, and response times. Efficient deployment of the 5G network in urban areas will enable network operators to also deliver ultra-high-speed broadband services to suburban and low-density areas, supporting home and business applications that are prohibitively expensive to install.

More communities will be able to connect to the Internet through superfast and reliable connections, bringing telemedicine and distance education closer together and helping them work smarter. It will also allow operators to provide new and improved services to consumers, while managing growing data traffic.

Apart from this, 5G technology will improve reliable mobile internet services for mass gatherings, enable more startups to access the internet faster, participate in NITDA programs and utilize available resources to develop digital solutions. market creators.

Currently, many startups across the country are looking to improve the quality of service delivery and reduce costs in order to stay globally competitive. One of the potential areas for development in the digital economy is the expansion of 5G rollout, with the attendant services and opportunities that arise from ubiquitous connectivity.

Privacy and data protection breaches will be enhanced by security agencies and stakeholders, curbing cybercrime through 5G adoption, as more startups, investors, and developers financial institutions seek to harness the power of global connectivity.

To achieve this goal, NITDA’s engagement with startup ecosystems should focus on increasing digital literacy among youth by establishing startup hubs, providing continuing education programs, and funding innovative solutions for stimulate the development of new digital solutions and stimulate indigenous content in the ICT sector in Nigeria.

In terms of monitoring and evaluation, through collaboration with relevant agencies, 5G networks can help agencies ensure that all devices connected to networks are configured with the appropriate security protocols to protect private data.

The impact of 5G network on improving virtual healthcare standards and consultation is driven by healthcare startups like Clafiya, Myclinic.ng, Lafiya Telehealth and others. The new technology will improve connectivity and facilitate better diagnosis and treatment by healthcare professionals. Hospitals equipped with high-tech gadgets such as ECG machines, digital record archives and treatments will benefit from improved functionality, thus avoiding network problems while administering treatment to patients. This will help bring affordable health services closer to people living in remote areas.

Automated cars, massive manufacturing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among other emerging technologies, are supported by 5G. These technologies will allow thousands of connected devices to work together, share information with minimal human interaction and promote digital activities.

Additionally, IoT-related applications are expected to improve productivity and reduce manufacturing costs by accelerating digital transformation. Improving 5G technology in smart cities and smart grids will lead to increased productivity and the creation of new revenue streams.

In food security, 5G networks will enable smart farming/farming, including crop and livestock monitoring, once it becomes widely available for full implementation. Farmers, when they have the technology, will benefit from the potential of a large collection of field-located sensors that are able to identify with pinpoint accuracy which areas need water, are disease-prone, or require pest control, among others.

However, in order to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks to improve digital services and the economy, NITDA, NCC and other stakeholders in the ICT industry should ensure the formulation of a regulatory framework to ensure the creation of new opportunities for Nigerian businesses at home and abroad, which will in turn encourage massive investment in the country.

To achieve this goal, NITDA’s engagement with startup ecosystems should focus on increasing digital literacy among youth by establishing startup hubs, providing continuing education programs, and funding innovative solutions for stimulate the development of new digital solutions and stimulate indigenous content in the ICT sector in Nigeria.

Zeenat Sambo writes from Abuja.


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