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MTN, Airtel, others not yet granted 5G mobile network license – NCC

By Idowu Abdullahi,

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed that it was yet to grant a license for the deployment of 5G technology to any mobile network operators (MNO) in the country, saying none of the operators can switch on the technology in the country.

It explained that though the commission had in 2019 approved trail tests for 5G for a period of three months, it had not granted the license for the mobile network as widely reported in a statement being circulated on various social media.

The NCC Executive Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the clarification had become imperative following viral statements on social media alleging that the Nigerian telecoms industry is going to switch on Fifth Generation (5G) in Lagos on Sunday 10th, Monday 11th or Tuesday 12th May 2020.

Danbatta, through a statement by the Commission’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, urged Nigerians against the purveyor of the misinformation, adding the earlier trial was to study and observe the health and security challenges the 5G network might pose to Nigerians.

“The NCC had provided clarifications through Frequently Asked Questions on 5G in view of 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 laying of additional fiber optic cables is to strengthen the existing 3G and 4G infrastructure to provide robust and pervasive telecoms infrastructure to improve network performance.

“5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology, which is an improvement of today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities. 5G technology 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 we live and work.

“NCC has not issued any license 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 the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).

“As the telecoms regulator, we enjoin Nigerians to get accurate information from us rather than relying on information emanating on social media by some individuals out of ignorance to misinform our people,” the statement said

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