The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has organized capacity building workshops for media executives in the northern and southern divides of the country ahead of the anticipated 2022 rollout of 5G network, as part of efforts to support their continuous professional development as critical stakeholders in the telecommunications industry.
The workshops, which were held recently in Kano and Lagos under the theme “5G Deployment and the Next Level of Nigeria’s Development,” provided an opportunity for media stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the new technology’s potentials.
These workshops are expected to prepare journalists to appropriately report on 5G concerns through informative, incisive, analytical, and evidence-based reporting, as well as to clear up misconceptions and disinformation about the new technology.
The Commission hopes that the workshops will enable journalists to focus on how 5G will affect various sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, e-commerce, e-banking, ICT, education, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, security, entertainment, including the music and movie industries, and other aspects of Digital Nigeria.
In his opening remarks at the two workshops, NCC Executive Vice Chairman Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the workshops’ theme was particularly appropriate at a time when the Commission is working hard to accelerate the deployment of 5G in the country, following the Federal Government’s approval on September 8, 2021.
Danbatta said the workshops were organized to provide media stakeholders with greater insights and knowledge around 5G in order to improve their overall understanding of the new technology, its usage, opportunities, and benefits it offers for the overall development of Nigeria’s societal development.
“As we advance on our 5G deployment journey, the media plays a crucial part in the process by ensuring proper and adequate reporting of the Commission’s programs and operations as it unfolds the Federal Government’s 5G Deployment Plan,” he said in his opening remarks.
According to the EVC, Nigeria’s prospective 5G Plan includes the goals of providing efficient spectrum assignment for 5G deployment, establishing an enabling environment for telecom investment, and ensuring effective 5G deployment to cover key urban centres by 2025, among other things.
The successful and timely deployment of 5G is critical in line with the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2025 for a Digital Nigeria, as well as positioning Nigeria as an early adopter of digital technology in the growing global digital economy. “The roll-out of 5G will be carried out in phases, beginning with major cities in the country where there is a need for high-quality broadband,” Danbatta said.
At the workshops, the Commission also gave technical presentations to journalists on how it is preparing for the 5G journey in terms of requirements, deployment, use cases, and potential challenges that it is working with relevant stakeholders to address in order to effectively implement Nigeria’s 5G Deployment Plan.
While Bako Wakil, NCC’s Director, Technical Standard and Network Integrity, delivered the technical presentation to media stakeholders in Kano, Tony Ikemefuna, NCC’s Head, Fixed Network and Converged Services, delivered the presentation in Lagos.
The media stakeholders were adequately informed on 5G characteristics such as enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency, and speed during the technical sessions in Kano and Lagos, explaining that 5G will facilitate several emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Machine-to-Machine communication, and others. The media professionals also took advantage of the opportunity to ask a variety of questions and clarify disputed problems around 5G deployment’s security and health effects.