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Telcos to engage Senate on 5G as spending drops by 0.8 per cent

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Telecommunications operators have expressed their readiness to work with both arms of the National Assembly on the fifth-generation (5G) technology deployment in Nigeria.
 
This follows the Senate’s call on the Federal Government to suspend the planned deployment of the 5G network in the country, pending the resolution of all issues thrown up by the new technology.

Operators, under the aegis of Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), in Lagos, yesterday, said they will like to work with both the legislators and executive arms of government to address any concerns the Senate has raised regarding 5G.
  
ATCON President, Olusola Teniola, noted that during the extensive COVID-19 lockdown, a number of false claims were made about 5G, and the Senate appears also concerned and wants to verify if there is anything behind them.

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Teniola said the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and worldwide renowned associations have put paid to these false claims and fake news that have been taken down by social media companies.
   
He said: “It has always been the case that NCC will hold wider stakeholder engagement concerning 5G deployments in Nigeria. The four weeks the legislators have requested a committee to report back to them is sufficient time for the industry to make its case and work with them to ensure Nigeria maximises the opportunity that this technology and future technologies bring to the development of our nation.”
    
On its part, the sister-body, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), allayed fears that electromagnetic emissions from telecoms masts and facilities could cause health hazards to humans.
   
The Chairman of ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, noted that it became necessary to reemphasise this, following insinuations that electromagnetic emissions from telecoms masts are gradually deteriorating the health situations of Nigerians, and that the emissions from 5G networks are linked to COVID-19 pandemic.
  
Adebayo said: “As a responsible corporate citizen and natural partner in progress, ALTON deems it necessary to address some of the misguided theories circulating on the internet linking 5G technology to COVID-19.
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“Contrary to these rumours, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever supporting any causal connection between the spread of COVID-19 and 4G, 5G or electromagnetic waves in general. In fact, according to a seven-year-long scientific study published last month, 5G has no detrimental health effects in general.”
       
Meanwhile, the International Data Corporation (IDC), has told the telecoms industry to expect a  decline of about 0.8 per cent in spending in 2020 worldwide, compared to 0.5 per cent growth last year.
  
IDC said carriers will continue to invest in 5G network deployments in many countries, while the lockdown has increased demand for fixed broadband services in the short term.
   
According to the body, the economic slowdown is expected to put ‘macro pressure’ on consumer spending, including upgrades to 5G mobile contracts, in the second half of 2020, yet the overall impact on telecom spending will be moderate compared to other ICT markets.
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IDC said the IT infrastructure spending is projected to grow by an estimated four per cent to $437billion in the wake of spending by service providers for resiliency, in addition to increasing enterprise demand for cloud services. Whereas, the ICT spending, which includes telecom and business services will decline by 3.4 per cent this year to just over $4trillion with telecom spending down 0.8 per cent.
   
Programme Vice President in IDC’s Customer Insights & Analysis group, Stephen Minton, said inevitably a major economic recession, in Q2 especially, will translate into some big short-term reductions in IT spending by those companies and industries that are directly impacted.

IDC said Cloud spending will continue to post moderate growth as businesses continue to fund existing cloud deployments, and some businesses may utilise the remainder of the year to accelerate cloud projects as a means to control costs and defer data centre and application upgrades.
   
“Overall software spending is now expected to decline as businesses delay new projects and application roll-outs, while there is a fundamental link between employment and spending on things like software licenses and campus networks,” Minton said.

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