The chairman of MTN Nigeria, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, on Tuesday, August 25, disclosed that the country must stay competitive in the global economy.
Ndukwe, the former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said the country must leverage on the opportunities provided by 5G technology and deploy it as soon as possible.
The former executive vice chairman made this known at a Fireside Chat titled “5G and its contentions: What is the way Forward?” at the ongoing first Virtual Conference of the Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition with the theme Africa’s Post-Pandemic High Tech World.
Recall that on the heels of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, a flurry of conspiracy theories emerged linking the pandemic with the roll out of 5G technology in some parts of the world.
Speaking as a guest at the Virtual event, he said that every technology development has always been entangled with issues of health concerns yet, such technology development has never been stopped by such concerns.
According to him, “With every technology development, there is always this fear about health issue and that has not stopped the deployment of these techs. To the best of my knowledge, no telecom operator in the world today can power any network without being certain about its safety.
“As chairman of MTN Nigeria, I cannot be in support of the deployment of any network that will be harmful to people’s health.”
The former NCC chairman disclosed that Nigeria was yet to roll out 5G technology even though a trial has been carried out in some cities in the country, adding that Nigeria is not yet fully planted on 4G network across the country.
“We must adopt 5G if we want to compete at the global level and not play from the back. And this adoption has to be led by the regulatory authorities and the government providing the enabling environment for the technology to thrive.
“I know that 5G is something that will happen in Nigeria no matter the delay in deployment. The conspiracy theories are no doubt worrisome, and that I believe, is one of the reasons there seems to be a delay in roll out across some regions of the world,” he stated.
Ndukwe, popularly known within the ICT circle as Mr Telecoms said that the cost of spectrum will go a long way in determining how soon 5G technology will be deployed in Nigeria and indeed the African Continent, recalling that 3G technology came around about two years late because of cost of spectrum.
According to him, “For networks to be deployed there must be the availability of spectrum. No country in Africa has actually rolled out 5G because cost is expensive. It will take another year or two before Nigeria can roll out.