The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is adamant that it has not yet issued 5G licenses to any of the countries operators – despite rumours spread via social media platforms that claim the local telecoms industry would switch on 5G networks in Lagos this week.
In an official statement, the NCC says that these rumours couldn’t be further from the truth – “there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment”.
The commission – which insists that the rumours come from “faceless sponsors” – told The Vanguard that it had approved 5G trials in November 2019 for a three-month period, ending January 2020. The trials have since 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 present to participate during the trial,” says Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta.
One such health challenge that has come in to play recently, according to the NCC, is the link between 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic – online conspiracy theorists claim that the global rollout of the next-gen Internet is either causing or accelerating the spread of the novel coronavirus – which it says is “misleading with no proven evidence”.
In conclusion, Danbatta says the “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)”.
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