The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says rumours that the telecoms industry will switch to fifth-generation (5G) network on May 12 is false.
5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology, which is an improvement of today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities.
There have been unfounded claims about how 5G radiation is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic — an allegation debunked by TheCable.
The rumours were fueled by videos showing the destruction of 5G masts in China and the UK, as well as widely circulated WhatsApp voice notes.
In a statement on Sunday, Henry Nkemadu, NCC’s director of public affairs, said there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment.
“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 read.
“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.”
In November 2019, the NCC carried out 5G trials in Lagos, Calabar and Abuja; an exercise that has since been concluded.
Nkemadu quoted Umar Garba Dambatta, NCC executive vice-chairman, as saying: “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.
“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).”
The commission urged Nigerians to rely on accurate information rather than social media messages circulated to misinform people.