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The radiation from 5G is not different from that of 2G, 3G and 4G – NCC

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), regulator of all telecommunication services in the country, has explained that the radiation from 5G, when launched in the future, will be the same as that of 2G, 3G and 4G which is already in commercial use. They all belong to the same class of non-ionizing radiation.


The NCC says there is no correlation between 5G Technology and COVID-19, as 5G is an advancement on today’s 4G technology designed to transform the world positively.


Clearing the doubts of citizens, created by recent online reports suggesting that the new technology is hazardous to human health and may be related to the spread of the novel coronavirus, NCC said that although 5G has not been commercially launched in Nigeria. It explained that there are radiation emission limits set by the International Commission for Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) below which the radiation is considered safe for humans. It stated further that NCC has been regularly conducting measurements of radiation emission from base stations across the country, and that they are all well below the set limits, which means they are safe for humans.


According to the NCC, there are other sources of radiation which include television stations, radio broadcasts stations, WiFi. They all belong to the class of radiation considered to be safe for humans when operated below the set limits, it said.


In a press statement signed by Henry Nkemadu, director, public affairs, NCC, the commission explained that the videos making the rounds on social media, showing people laying fibre wires has come as a result of the necessity for more data and telecommunication services. Fibre cable is a terrestrial technology for broadband that existed for decades while 5G is a new mobile technology for enhanced quality of service.


“As a result of the lockdown, the amount of voice and data usage has increased by huge amounts and there is need to expand the network to provide optimum quality of service to users sitting at home.  Telecom is also critical for information dissemination during the lockdown,” it said.


The NCC back in November 2019 approved a trial of 5G by MTN Nigeria for a period of three months, which has 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 invited to participate during the trial.

The NCC says it 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.


In Nigeria, bulk spectrum for 5G will be allocated by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC) chaired by Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy. Spectrum when made available will be actioned for operators to purchase.


The regulator says there is no exact time frame for the commercial launch of 5G in Nigeria, noting however that the technology will be launched when conditions are right and all doubts are cleared.


“NCC has not issued any license for 5G in Nigeria. NCC is technology neutral, as such we don’t license technology but assign spectrum to operators for deployment of any service when allocated by NFMC,” Nkemadu said in the statement sent to BusinessDay.


The 5G technology will transform the world by connecting everything with everybody.  It will create millions of jobs, add billions of dollars to the economy, and can solve some problems such as insecurity and improve governance and efficiency in the society.

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