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No 5G licences issued yet, says NCC

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 Fifth Generation (5G) in Lagos this Sunday 10th, Monday 11th or Tuesday 12th May 2020.

[FILE PHOTO] NCC Boss, Umar Garba Danbatta

The NCC back in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for a period of three (3) months and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, said that ‘’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 invited to participate during the trial.’’

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 in a secured and friendly manner.

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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 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.

5G is a 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 Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to improve the way we live and work.

"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.

‘’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," said Danbatta.

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