The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that Nigeria and the commission are ready for the deployment of 5G technology as all necessary efforts are in top gears to put in place the right policy framework for a smooth take-off.
The commission also disclosed that it’s entering a regime where SIM Cards that are not used within 48hours would be blocked for security reasons.
This was disclosed in Abuja when the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr Sunday Dare play host to journalists covering Information Communication Technology (ICT) at the commission.
Mr Sunday Dare said that though the commission is putting everything in place awaiting the deployment of 5G technology, they are not discarding the existing ones already in place.
“Nigeria is ready for 5G and what is NCC doing about 5G? We don’t expect the uptake to be 100%. There is nowhere such up takes are a 100%, we are already on 4G. so we are ready for the next level which is 5G and show NCC’s readiness for this, a few months ago we held a stakeholders critical meeting in which we brought all the major stakeholder together to examine the legal, the regulatory and the technological issues around the 5G beyond what the tech 8th model in, what are the peculiarities & challenges we might have in implementing 5G and that will lead us to having a roadmap.
Conversations have been opened by the nice and some of them have to do with spectrum for drones and so many other technical areas. We are proactive by looking at the deployment of tech that will aid 5G.”
He said though 5G is the big thing right now the commission will not abandon previous technologies.
“The big thing right now is 5G on the global stage but I tell you the big thing for us here is still 4G broadband penetration. The most interesting thing, however, is that the 2G we think is obsolete is not.
The IOT will run largely on both 2G and can also run on 5G.
I just came back from a global conference (in Amsterdam) on MVNO Mobile visual network operators and experts were saying that 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G has its own place; out there they are not caught with the idea of discarding one tech as soon as another one is found.
Here we are often guilty of simply discarding one tech. don’t forget, without 2G we wouldn’t have had 3G, without 3G we wouldn’t have had 4G and 5G, just an improvement as we go.
So the focus is of course on 4G. Are we sleeping on 5G? No. We are doing something about that but then we are also trying to strengthen our 2G, 3G and in turn, strengthen 4G.
On how the commission is assisting security agencies to fight crime he said, “We have seen the increase in kidnapping in the country and the attempt to link it with the prevalence of unregistered SIM Cards.
Whether your SIM is registered or not, you can still use it to commit crime.
That is to say we have seen registered SIM Cards been used in kidnapping and other crimes. Until a particular SIM Card is used to commit a crime you can’t just go and simply yank it off and that is what is done in the world all over.
“The moment a SIM Card is identified to have committed a crime, the number has to be reported to NCC or the police and once we get the number we go to the mobile network operator who will query their database, pull out the information on that SIM Card and I can tell you seven out of ten times we have been able to get information on who registered the SIM Card and were the location is.
“What has been quite interesting is that we get the complete data but then you will see the passport of a four-year-old. And that is where the problem usually is, and since we found this to be prevalent, we have told the mobile network operators to keep verifying their data just as we keep verifying the ones they send to us. If we find incomplete data, we say call this person back or block the line.
“We are going to move to a regime in which the moment we find any SIM Card with incomplete biometrics and data, that SIM Card is blocked, if you have a SIM Card and within 48hrs you don’t use it they will block line.
“We have the Emergency communication centre (ECC) in each of the 36 states. As I speak about 22 of them will be filly active as 18 are already active. Before the end of the year the remaining ECCs will be active.
If you call 622 or 112 someone is going to pick, these centres are equipped with state-of-the-art communication systems”, he said.