5G demonstration trials done with 4G spectrum –Minister

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Fifth Generation Mobile Networks demonstration trials conducted in the country by MTN Nigeria in November 2019 were carried out with a 4G spectrum.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, disclosed this in an interview monitored on Channels Television.

The minister, who was reacting to claims that 5G technology was responsible for the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, insisted that 5G had yet to be deployed in the country.

The trials carried out by MTN in Abuja, Lagos and Calabar showcased the capabilities of 5G and its potential to drive economic growth and social inclusion.

Shedding further light on MTN’s 5G trials, Pantami explained that the exercise was actually carried out with 4G spectrum, as 5G was not available in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Communications Commission and telecommunications operators have also condemned claims that the 5G is causing the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

The operators under the aegis of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria and the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria described the claims as unfounded and baseless.

They called on all Nigerians to disregard the information that was trending on all social media platforms, saying it was false.

The Public Affairs Director at the NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, emphasized that there was no correlation between 5G technology and COVID-19 and described 5G as an advancement on 4G technology and had been designed to transform the world positively.

He said the trial for the 5G in the country, which lasted for three months, had been concluded and installations decommissioned.

“There is no link whatsoever between 5G and coronavirus. 5G technology will transform the world by connecting everything with everybody. It will create millions of jobs; it will add billions of dollars to the economy and can solve some of our problems such as insecurity and improve governance and efficiency in the society,” the NCC director said.

Nkemadu said the recent deployment of fibre in certain areas in the country was because there was an urgent need to expand the network to provide optimum capacity for the large amount of voice and data usage which had increased and not for 5G technology.

The Chairman, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, pointed out that the industry regulator, NCC, had not issued any license to telcos to deploy 5G network in the country.

He explained that telecommunication standards were prescribed for use by the relevant international regulatory agencies after thorough and comprehensive tests had been carried out to ensure that all approved standards were safe for the human environment and health.

He said spectrum and frequencies used today by the mobile and satellite industries had been extensively researched and were discovered to have no harmful effect on health.

“There is no iota of truth that 5G technology is the cause of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is also spreading in places without 5G networks like Nigeria,” Adebayo said.

Also, the President, ATCON, Olusola Teniola, explained that what had been done regarding 5G network in the country was a trial to examine the applications of the technology and was supervised by the NCC.

He said the claims of the health impact of 5G had not been substantiated by any conclusive empirical evidence by either the World Health Organisation or other health research institutions.

Meanwhile, the senator representing Taraba Central Senatorial District, Yusuf Yusuf, has assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would probe the alleged introduction of the 5G technology into Nigeria without the necessary approval.

Yusuf, who gave the assurance in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Monday, said the National Assembly would also investigate the relationship between the 5G technology and the spread of coronavirus across the globe.