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Roadblocks to 5G technology in Nigeria

By Ken Nwogbo
06 March 2020   |   4:30 am
Most Nigerians are not paying much attention to the rollout of 5G because they are deeply skeptical of the latest technology and are already angry with their service providers.

Most Nigerians are not paying much attention to the rollout of 5G because they are deeply skeptical of the latest technology and are already angry with their service providers.

In fact, majority of Nigerians are not even excited to learn about the new technology; rather they are waxing worriedly over the rising numbers of dropped calls, aborted short message service (SMS), as well as the countless number of futile attempts to make calls with the present technology.

“The only time I would want to take 5G technology seriously, is when I see some real benefits, otherwise, am not interested” Godwin Dike, a telecom consumer said.

But 5G is already generating buzz and is being touted as revolution that will further change the way people live and work, through unprecedented digital speeds, reduced lag, and better connectivity for a broader range of devices.

Some said it will spur a fourth industrial revolution.

“What does this mean? It depends who you are,” said, Professor Muriel Médard, MIT electrical engineering and computer science.

For users, which include most businesses, “it’s likely you’ll get a rich set of offerings, and you’ll get better coverage,” said Médard, who leads the Network Coding and Reliable Communications Group at MIT’s Research Laboratory for Electronics.

Though, 5G technology is researched and conceptualized to solve all radio signal problems and hardship of mobile world, but it has some shortcomings because of some security reason and lack of technological advancement in most of the geographic regions including Nigeria.

It is a well know fact that the technology is still under process and research on its viability is going on.

Dike’s fear about the technology may be heightened, because the speed, this technology is claiming seems difficult to achieve (in future, it might be) because of the incompetent technological support in most parts of the world.

Like Dickson Ochu Eze, another subscriber also pointed out, “ I think it will be am expensive venture because many of the old devices would not be competent to 5G”

Also, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that poor power supply and inadequate fibre infrastructure would impede the deployment of 5G Network in Nigeria.

Engr. Bako Wakil, director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC, who disclosed this recently at a special session, held by the Commission, on the benefits and challenges of deploying the 5G Network, at the Social Media Week Lagos (SMW Lagos), Lagos, said that the country will face two major challenges in deploying commercial 5G network in the country, stating that inadequate power supply and insufficient fibre infrastructure as the two major impediments.

According to him, “power infrastructure is a major challenge we will witness in the deployment of 5G across the country.

“As it stands today all the base-stations in the country are running on 24 hours generator and this is not good for the deployment of 5G because it latency is very small.

“Also fibre infrastructure in the country is not enough to deploy 5G in the country. We do not have fibre capacity across the country.

“These two major infrastructures are crucial impediments in the deployment of 5G in the country.”

Wakil, also stated that, the 5G Network is one that will require more, in terms of electricity than the 4G that, we are currently running.