Uche Osuji, MTN’s General Manager for Network Operations, said 5G Network had the capacity to enable $12 trillion worth of economic activities globally by 2035.
Osuji said this on Thursday at the 26th Professionals’ Assembly of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria, which held virtually and monitored in Abuja.
The theme was: “Adoption of 5G in Nigeria: Technological and Regulatory Challenges.”
Osuji defined 5G Network as the latest generation of cellular mobile communications that succeeds 4G, 3G and 2G technologies.
He explained that 2G focused on massive mobile voice communication, while 3G enabled browsing and 4G enabled and increased smartphone popularisation, mobile data traffic.
According to him, 5G would enable any device to provide access to the content and open up new business opportunities across industries, hence 5G was developed to enhance industries productivity.
He said: “5G projects to enable $12 trillion worth of economic activities by 2035, which would majorly come from manufacturing, information and communication, wholesale and retail sector.
“The world is already projecting 16 per cent adoption, while three per cent of one billion connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025 is 5G enabled.
“5G will open up new use cases in areas of mobile broadband, Internet of Things and mission critical applications.”
He said that 5G, if adopted, would improve latency, ensure peak data rate, enhance connections, spectrum efficiency, network energy efficiency and improve user experience on data rate.
Osuji further said that 5G enablers included network, devices and spectrum.
According to him, devices for 5G are already available, while network and the spectrum needed to be enhanced.
The GM said Nigeria had conducted a trial of 5G between November 2019 and February 2020 and identified the challenge to harmonise spectrum between Nigeria Communications Commission and the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited.
He said: “Off the shelf mobile phones are readily available in the market but expensive and needs to be reduced.
“There is need for new radio on site, core nodes and better transmission.”
“As with all new technologies, we must leverage learning from first adopters in addition to trials, study and evaluation involving all stakeholders.
“There is the challenge for cooperation and declaration of telecom as a critical national infrastructure, vital for the success of the national broadband strategy.”
Osuji also said availability, affordability of devices, improved infrastructure development, global politics and awareness creation to debunk conspiracy theory and myths were challenges to adopting 5G Network.
He, however, said COVID-19 had made adopting 5G more important.
Dr. Isa Pantami, Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, said there was need for multi-stakeholders engagement to evaluate the prospects and challenges of adopting 5G Network.
Pantami commended CPN for the theme, adding that there were so many theories concerning 5G, hence recommendations from the assembly would enable decisions by the Federal Government on its licensing and adoption.
Prof. Charles Uwadia, the Chairman-In-Council and President of CPN, in his welcome remarks, said 5G was important because it had the potential to support millions of devices at a high speed.
Uwadia said: “5G is capable of transforming the lives of people around the world, could improve accessibility, extending the reach of mobile broadband, improving safety, health and security, among other benefits.
“There is no doubt that the adoption of 5G, which has been touted as the next frontier of investment, has the proficiencies and potential to drive economic growth and social inclusion.”
He acknowledged that it could have its challenges, which the assembly would discuss, including issues around future of frequency bands, deployment and coverage, device support, security and privacy.
Other issues on 5G discussed at the meeting were digital Infrastructure challenges, outdated regulatory policies, and removal of impediments to the expansion of digital infrastructure, among others.
Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, said adopting 5G technology would enable efficiency in the telecom industry, hence the need to deliberate on its challenges.
Prof. Adesina Sodiys, the President, Nigeria Computer Society, said they would continue to support CPN to ensure that the country’s IT sector stood out among comity of nations.
Other goodwill messages came from the National Information Technology Development Agency, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and other institutions, which urged the assembly to discuss and answer questions around 5G Network.