Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami says Nigeria is ready to deploy 5G network but the proposal was put on hold because of potential challenges that could obstruct the process
The minister made the revelation on Monday at a session at the ongoing GITEX Technology Week taking place in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate.
He said though some of the telecom operators in the country are ready to deploy the 5G network but the decision to put it on hold was strategic to enable the country to avoid possible pitfalls that could erode the ongoing deployment efforts.
According to Pantami, the regulation of the process requires security agencies like the NIA, EFCC, SSS, Police Affairs, IGP and many more to enable them to be on the same page and monitor the operations when in use.
‘‘Nigeria is not yet into the 5G network strategically. Some of the telecom operators are ready to deploy the 5G network but the proposal was put on hold. Pantami said
‘‘So we can be preparing to be productive and proactive because there could be potential challenges that could obstruct 5G network which includes regulations. You cannot just rush into it without preparing the ground.
‘‘The regulations require security agencies like engaging the NIA, EFCC, SSS, Police Affairs, IG and many more. The reason behind doing this is that during the challenges you can be on the same page and they will be able to monitor as part of their regulatory functions.
Nigeria is ready for 5G network but preparation is key. Pantami said
‘‘We are ready but need deployment and before that, we need predeployment and postdeployment processes well perfected.
‘’We are working to handle the challenges of redeployment but the approval has been given for the trial. 5G network is not all across the country because of the nature of the network.
‘‘At the pace, we are moving, some places do not even have 2G, there are over 200 cluster areas in the country and with this, you cannot say we can move to 5G when some people are yet to access 2G, 3G.
‘‘The gaps are already there, it is not a new one but you cannot delay advancement because other people are not benefiting. What we should do is to bridge the gap. Nigeria is not doing badly in technology but we fail to patronize and deploy local technology.’’
Pantami, who cited a young Nigerian, Yusuf Sambo in the university of Glasco as the first person globally to develop, build and design real tie 5G dedicated to self-organized networks in the UK using general-purpose processors, frowned at the attitude of Nigerians who are addicted to foreign products encouraged them to change the negative perception against local brands to encourage local production.
‘‘We usually fail to deploy what we produce, we are so much addicted to foreign products and whenever we hear anything local it appears to us as inferior and that perception of undermining our effort is what we need to change,’’ he added.