Nigeria’s minister for communications and digital economy Isa Ali Pantami Saturday said the country has not approved any 5G – the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies – license.
Pantami made the clarification in the wake of growing rumours that 5G is responsible for coronavirus.
“The National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), of which I am the Chairman, has not deliberated on or released any bulk frequency spectrum for the deployment of 5G,” Pantami said in a statement.
“No license has been issued for the deployment of 5G in the country.”
The rumour that 5G causes coronavirus was recently amplified by American singer Keri Hilson. In a series of now-deleted tweets, Hilson claimed that Africa has not been badly hit by coronavirus because it has not deployed 5G.
“I think she’s an amazing singer, but I am not sure she knows what she’s talking about,” Yusuf Sambo, a researcher at the University of Glasgow who is testing 5G in Scotland told AFP.
“Yes, there are fears about the health implications of 5G but they have to do with cancer and not viral infections.”
Many conspiracy theories also claimed that China is using its advancement in 5G technologies to advance its alleged plan for world domination. Experts, however, pointed to China, South Korea), the United Kingdom and the United States as the leader in the 5G race. In fact, South Korea launched 5G first.
But COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China.
While the world was battling with spiking COVID-19 fatalities and infection rate, the United States President Donald Trump signed National Strategy to Secure 5G.
Trump said the document contained his vision for America to lead the development, deployment, and management of secure and reliable 5G communications infrastructure worldwide.
Although 5G was approved for trial in Nigeria in 2019, Pantami said the government will not act on the speculations about the network.
“We will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public,” Pantami said.
However, researcher, who specialises in electromagnetic exposure in wireless communication at the University of Surrey, told AFP that the side effects of 5G are the same as those of 3G and 4G. Both 3G and 4G are in use in Nigeria.
“The possible side-effects of 5G are the same as 4G, 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi; all these wireless communication technologies use EM waveform that radiates energy,” Fabien Heliot said.