No 5G licence has been issued – NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has denied the report of the telecommunication industry switching to fifth-generation (5G) network on May 12.

In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the commission, Henry Nkemmadu, on Monday said:

“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.

“The statement from the faceless individuals or groups cannot be further from the truth. The commission has unequivocally stated that there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment.

“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.

“NCC has not issued any licence for 5G in Nigeria and therefore, the mobile network operators (MNOs) cannot switch on such technology.

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“NCC is technology-neutral. As such, we don’t license technology but assigns spectrum to operators for deployment of any service when allocated by the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC).”

I would like to clarify as follows:

i. The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G;
ii. No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country;

iii. A 3-month study trial commenced on the 25th of November, 2019 in order to critically review and study the health and security implications of deploying 5G in Nigeria;

iv. As part of the study trial process, I directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that a team of experts, security agencies and other stakeholders fully participate in the trial process and my office also invited these agencies to participate in the trial; and

v. The trial process has been concluded and the study and reporting process is currently ongoing.

His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, places a premium on the welfare, health and security of Nigerians. As such, our desire for technological advancement will never be at the expense of the health and welfare of our citizens.

Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public. I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.

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.

The technology provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data to improve the way we live and work.

I wish to thank the general public for reaching out to us on this issue. We advise you all to remain rest assured that government will always take the welfare, health and security of the public into account while considering the deployment of any technology.

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