Nigeria will not rush to deploy the 5 Generation telecom network now because it is still working to guard against the potential threat it could pose to the country’s security, the Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has said.
Speaking in an interview on the sideline of the ongoing GITEX Technology Week in Dubai on Monday, Dr Pantami said though approval had already been given for trial of the latest telecom network in the country, the government needed to put some security checks in place before the actual deployment.
“Before we will launch 5G network in the country we need to do pre-deployment checks and post-deployment checks. We are working to handle the challenges of pre-deployment but the approval has been given for the trial’’, the minister said.
Some of the telecom operators are ready to deploy the 5G network, he said, ‘’but the proposal was put on hold so we can be productive and proactive because there could be potential challenges that could obstruct 5G network which includes regulations. You cannot just rush into it without preparing your ground.’’
He said the regulations would be done in collaboration with security agencies, including the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and State Security Service (SSS), Police, and others.
‘’The reason behind doing this is that during challenges you can be on the same page and they will be able to monitor as part of their regulatory functions. Nigeria is ready for 5G network but preparation is key’’, he added.
On why Nigeria will deploy 5G when many states are still not with 3G and 4G, the minister said that was the nature of technology.
”5G network is not all across the country because that is the nature of technology. In the past, some places did not even have 2G, there are over 200 areas in the country and with this you cannot say we cannot move to 5G when some people are yet to access 2G, 3G. The gaps are already there, it is not a new one but you cannot delay advancement because other people are not there, what we should do is to bridge the gap’’, he said.
Dr Pantami said Nigeria is not doing bad in technology but ‘’we fail to patronize and deploy local technology.’’