Danbatta says Nigeria needs 80,000 telecom masts

The NCC boss cited the United Kingdom as an example — with just a third of Nigeria’s population, it has over 60,000 masts

NCC CEO, Umar Garba Danbatta

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has said the country needs at least 70,000–80,000 telecommunication base stations if it wants to join other countries in developing Internet of Things (IoT) technology by leveraging 4G and 5G technology.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the statement at a sitting of the House of Representative’s Ad Hoc Committee investigating the health hazards associated with installing telecom masts near residential buildings, in Abuja.

“3G, 4G going to 5G networks are going to usher this country into smart applications, the Internet of Things or the smart world and cities we are talking about. And of course because of the additional burden on infrastructure, the present capacity of telecom infrastructure is grossly inadequate to cater for these additional platforms or services we talk about.

“Therefore we will need from 70,000 to 80,000 base transceiver masts to be able to provide the effective capacity that’s needed to deploy 4G going to 5G,” said Danbatta, in response to questions from members of the committee.

Danbatta also called on the government on all levels to synergize efforts along with the NCC with the aim to achieve the end goal — enough base stations to match the country’s needs.

The NCC boss cited the United Kingdom as an example — with just a third of Nigeria’s population, it has over 60,000 masts — whilst making a case for the safety of masts around residential areas by citing research that has shown that there are no health concerns.

“With regards to other professional bodies like Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) we don’t have any quarrel with their positions. The only question is when we say exposure to electromagnetic field is hazardous to health what level are we talking about? We have to define the level of exposure that is hazardous to human beings.

“Of course if you generate a massive electromagnetic field of unprecedented proportion and put a person inside, there will be medical consequences. But what we are saying is that: provided the limit specified is observed and NCC is there to ensure compliance with that limit, there is no health hazard. There is a limit of safety below which electromagnetic fields do not cause any harm to health,” he explained.

The committee will meet to deliberate on their findings. Hopefully, they will make the findings public as well as their recommendation. If that is the case, you will want to stick to the Pulse Tech page to find out.

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