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EU wants swift roll-out of 5G

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A high-speed 5G mobile network antenna is pictured near Montpreveyres, western Switzerland, on September 15, 2019. PHOTO: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

The European Union should become the leading market for deployment of 5G mobile networks and its developments because it is key for enhancing the bloc’s competitiveness, according to draft presidency conclusions seen by Reuters.

The changes that 5G brings to mobile networks, devices and applications, “make it is necessary for the EU and the member states to pay particular attention to ensuring the cybersecurity of these networks and new services,” but “a swift roll-out of 5G networks is key for enhancing the competitiveness of the EU and requires a common approach” in an increasingly connected world.

Without naming Chinese telecoms equipment market leader Huawei Technologies, the draft conclusions recommend to promote European technological sovereignty and put in place “robust” security standards and measures for all relevant manufacturers and service providers, across the entire lifecycle of 5G networks.

Meanwhile, on readiness of Africa, and indeed Nigeria, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta, had said that countries within the region are trying to reserve the spectrum for the roll out of broadband services.

Specifically, Danbatta said in Nigeria, the focus was on 26, 38 and 42 GHz. He noted that these frequencies exist and are not licensed for any other applications.

According to him, the country is waiting in anticipation for the standardization process to be completed at the World Radio Communication (WRC) in Egypt, then “we will see how we can go forward with licensing process in the three frequencies.

“The other important step that African countries are taking is to address new forms of social anxiety occasioned by this emerging technology, 5G. There’s also the regulatory anxiety. And therefore to do that, because of the practice we had in the past every service we deploy is normally preceded by proof of concept trial. And the 5G is not an exception definitely there’s going to be the trial as preparations are underway for this important trial to take place,” Danbatta stressed.

The NCC EVC pointed out that the whole idea behind the trial is to be able see what are the challenges, including security, levels of radiation, power density, whether this is within the acceptable limits provided for the international non-ionization radio regulatory agencies as well as to ensure whatever factors that we need to come to terms with preparatory to commercial deployment of services, which are identified in readiness for commercial roll out of services using 5G.


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