By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that the Fifth Generation (5G) network will be rolled out in Nigeria in January 2022 and will help in the surveillance against vandalism of public assets.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, made the disclosure at a Town Hall Meeting to address vandalism of power and telecommunications infrastructure in Maiduguri, Borno State yesterday.
Pantami, who was represented by Mr Ubale Maska, Commissioner for Technical Services, Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) said while the technology would boost surveillance against criminal elements vandalising public infrastructure across the country, other measures should be put in place to arrest them and bring them to book.
The minister explained that the need to deploy the modern system was due to the over 50,000 telecommunications sites across the country and about 16,000 outages recorded by mobile network operators (MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9mobile) between January 2021 and July 2021.
He said the outages were caused by fibre cuts, access denial and theft, leading to service disruption in the affected areas.
He condemned situations where telecoms installations were destroyed in terrorist attacks which had not been replaced as a result of the intense security issues and tensions in north-east states.
What you should know
In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones.
Several countries which have already commenced the deployment of 5G and are enjoying its benefits include the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, South Africa and Lesotho.
In May, the NCC signed an agreement with the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComSat) on the use of the C-band spectrum for 5G services in the country.
Two weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) authorised the deployment of 5G networks for Nigeria’s digital economy.