The Federal Executive Council has approved the National Policy on Fifth Generation (5G) Networks for Nigeria’s Digital Economy. The 5G Policy was approved at the Council meeting today, Wednesday, 8th September 2021, following the presentation by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami). The implementation of the National Policy is with immediate effect.
The National Policy has been developed over a period of 2 years, due to the need for extensive stakeholder engagement and the need to ensure adequate public awareness and sensitization. The stakeholder engagement was thorough and multi-sectoral in nature. It also took into account the report of the 3-month 5G trials that commenced on the 25th of November 2019. The report critically reviewed and studied the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria.
Leading international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an organ of the United Nations, have confirmed that the deployment of 5G networks leave no adverse health effect and are safe.
5G networks offer significant advantages over the current technologies. Some of its advantages include much lower latency, higher bandwidth, greater device density, longer battery life for nodes and greater network flexibility. Several countries have already commenced the deployment of 5G and are enjoying its benefits. These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Lesotho, to mention but a few.
The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), chaired by Minister Pantami, will soon release spectrum to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that meet all the required conditions.
The NCC, as the regulator of the telecommunications sector, will continue engaging stakeholders with a view to developing the regulatory instruments required for the successful deployment of the technology in Nigeria.