5G: Tool for competitiveness in digital era — Experts


Information Communication Technology (ICT) experts have hailed the approval of the National Policy for 5G Network, saying it would be a tool for the country to remain competitive in the global economy and digital era.

The experts, in separate interviews with the Newsmen on Friday in Abuja said that technology was taking over lots of activities across the globe, hence the need to improve on the speed of connectivity.

5G network is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular network and its National Policy was approved by the Federal Government on Wednesday during the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

Mr Jide Awe, the Chief Executive Officer, Jidaw Services Ltd, said the 5G network would distinguish countries as it would enable full and productive exploitation of the emerging technologies that were driving and creating the future.

“5G has proven globally with the benefits overweighing any perceived disadvantages; it provides a platform for the creation of new and high value applications and experiences.

“5G rollout will meet the massive and growing demand for mobile broadband and mobile video needs of the demanding digital economy and will also foster the growth of smart initiatives,” Awe said.

He further said that the nation should focus on leveraging the 5G network infrastructure to overcome developmental challenges.

According to him, the policy implementation must be inclusive, relevant and stakeholders driven in a meaningful manner for the purpose of achieving sustainable development.

“The implementation should be in line with the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA-2024).

“The environment in the entire telecom space for 5G and existing networks should also be one that fosters investment and deployment in view of the huge investment requirements.

“It is also particularly important to determine how 5G networks will work alongside existing older generation networks.”

Awe added that the network would require digital inclusion, acceleration of broadband penetration, while state governments needed to be smart to encourage infrastructure support.

“Meaningful capacity building is also critical to effective 5G adoption because capacities and capabilities will assist in ensuring smooth implementation, sustainable operations and growth.’’

Mr Andrew Abu, Founder, Young Innovators of Nigeria (YIN), said during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in the use internet.

Abu said: “without any doubt, this would lead to massive improvements and there is no better timing especially after the experience with the COVID-19 pandemic which has pushed the need for critical reliable network connectivity.

“There is increased remote work, online learning and video chats with family and friends which have become the new normal worldwide.

“There’s an overwhelming subscriber appetite for ever-faster speed and greater bandwidth which will continue to drive the importance of 5G network.

“It is only wise to join the move as more of the world countries have adapted.”

He said the development would benefit the public through new services and applications.

Mr Ama Ase, the Managing Partner, Aiivon Innovation Hub, also said that technology was revolutionising human activities and the tech sector in the country was rapidly growing.

Ase cited the technology behind the production of smart wrist watches dependent on an emerging technology, which was the Internet of Things (IoT).

He said that IoT and other emerging technologies would be fully harnessed with the operation of 5G Network, without which the country would not be at par with the international standard of digitalisation.

He added that it would encourage investors to make investments in the country’s IT ecosystem and the 4th Industrial Revolution could be achieved in combination with other networks.

“There is a broad range of innovations from startups and the adoption of 5G network will improve service delivery and make their services easier and faster.

“During the COVID-19 period, there was total dependence on technology; people held online meetings and, then, 4G Network was slow especially connecting with international partners which 5G can correct.

“There is the emergence of virtual realities, new solutions like drone technology, precision agriculture that will be augmented and driven by 5G network,” Ase said.

He, however, urged the authorities to ensure that deploying the network would not pose any adverse effect on the health of the citizens or any challenges.