5G Network Not Inimical to Human Health, NCC, Telcos Insist

  • Welcome Senate’s planned probe

Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) have reiterated that electromagnetic emission from 5G network has no adverse effect on human health.

They also said the technology had no link with COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world.

They spoke in separate telephone interviews with THISDAY, while reacting to a recent call for the suspension of 5G rollout in Nigeria by the Senate, pending the outcome of investigation by its committees detailed to assess the health implications of 5G network.

The Senate had called for the suspension of 5G deployment in the country until after a probe to ascertain the technology’s suitability to human health.

The decision to probe 5G and its implications for Nigerians’ health was adopted following a motion sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Uche Ekwunife, PDP, Anambra Central senatorial district.

Reacting to the development, the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC, Mr. Bako Wakil, welcomed the move by the Senate, saying the NCC would be ready to give further explanations on 5G, if invited.

“We will wait for the Senate’s invitation and answer them appropriately in line with global standards for the deployment of 5G network. The invitation should be extended to all stakeholders and experts in the field of telecommunications because Nigerians must be educated on the economic relevance of 5G,” Wakil added.

Wakil explained that there were no scientific studies to show that electromagnetic emissions from telecoms facilities, including mobile phones, could cause health hazard to humans.

Also, the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, said NCC was yet to licence any operator to deploy 5G network in Nigeria, even though most countries have commenced rollout of 5G network.

“There is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. NCC had in November 2019, approved trial test for 5G for a period of three months and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned. “The trial, among others, was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present,” Nkemadu said.
Chaiman of ALTON, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, told THISDAY that the plan by the Senate to investigate 5G network in Nigeria should be commended.

He said the move was part of their oversight functions, adding that the outcome would be for the benefit of all Nigerians.

According to him, “Senate is only trying to seek more understanding about the operations of 5G, which in my view is a welcomed development because it is all about information gathering that will help them to be better informed about 5G network.

“There is no iota of truth that 5G technology is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic and it has no adverse effect on human health. The virus is also spreading in places without 5G networks like Nigeria.
“There are many parts of the world that do not have 5G coverage yet, but are still affected by the virus,” Adebayo said.

5G is a fifth generation mobile technology, which is an improvement on today’s 4G technology with enhanced capabilities. It is a technology developed as a protocol for mobile network, with higher speed of internet connectivity.

5G technology provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data to improve the way people live and work.