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Is Nigeria Really Ready For 5G Technology In 2019?

Is Nigeria Really Ready For 5G Technology In 2019?
The developed parts of the world are fast moving forward to 5G wireless technology deployment and it seems Nigerians are also making moves to join the bandwagon.
Earlier this year, an American telecommunications company, Verizon introduced 5G in three areas, with plans to cover 30 cities by year-end. In April, three mobile operators in South Korea launched 5G services for  consumers across most of the country.
Talking about Europe, the case is not any different as countries like Germany and Italy are already holding 5G spectrum auctions.
When we now move over to Nigeria, you'll see different information on all the paid marketing platforms pushing out different spectacular theories convincing consumers on how 5G is going to help and change the way we work.

Reasons Nigeria Is Not Yet Ready For 5G

It's funny for a country that is still struggling to offer 4G services to promise a 5G technology. If you can remember vividly, 4G network only became available in Nigeria around 5 years ago when the other [parts of the world have been flexing it for years. It was like a dream come true then until we realised that we still had one of the slowest 4G networks in the planet.
Inasmuch as 5G technology will be amazing (at least they told us so), we still have a long way to go in Nigeria that I find it hard believing it'd start functioning anytime soon.
Some of the reasons Nigerian won't be moving to a 5G network soon include:

• Evolution

Counting back, Nigeria (and other parts of the world) previously operated the 2G technology. As they always say, the only permanent thing in life is change, so we also joined other parts of the world in migrating to the 3G and 4G technologies.
As smartphones are becoming more accessible, the need for faster internet is becoming rampant among Nigerian consumers. This has made customers witness the emergence of multiple generations of data technology in the past few years. While this is good and we have reached a point (at least the 4G LTE is available), it's still necessary for us to consumers to start studying about the 5G technology now to help them decide if it's really the best for them.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is still optimistic that the 5G technology will deploy in Nigeria from 2020. When talking about the mobile operators, you'll notice than they 5G hype is still far,probably because of the infrastructure deficit across the country.

• 5G technology very limited

I know it's kind of hard to believe but calm down let me explain tell you why. Few years ago, the 4G dream became available in Nigeria but as we were about to celebrate, we realised we still had one of the slowest 4G speeds. Top telecommunication company, Globacom even had to set their bandwidth to one that isn't available in most devices. This was to ensure that the 4G network doesn’t slow down as much as their 3G.
No matter the hype, 5G technology is going to extraordinarily limited in real-world application unless the limitations are fixed. When comparing the available 4G to the dream 5G, you'd notice that while 4G signals can be received from over 30 miles, 5G signals cannot go more than a mile.
In addition to that, it is also very likely that the speed would drastically drop if you're in a building.  For 5G technology to function in Nigeria, the network providers would have to fix multiple network towers, at least a 1 mile distance between towers.
Inasmuch as this isn't impossible, I won't ascertain it's possibility, at least in 2020. The easiest way to do this, at least for now is to fix them on electric poles like the US Verizon. This might be cool, but we shouldn't also ignore the adept lack of maintenance culture in Nigeria.

• Health impact

While researching on the 5G network, I ran across an information on TechSpot.com that revealed concerns over the 5G technology. According to the information, many US communities are resisting the bill which provides telecommunication companies with liberal access to most utility poles, street lamps and public rights of ways in neighbourhoods for 5G antenna placement.
The primary cause for this stems from health concerns over chronic exposure to high frequencies, such as the new spectrum that is being opened for 5G.
Experts believe over exposure to high frequencies might be increasing the chances of getting cancer among humans. Biological effects due to radio frequency radiation range from cancer and immune dysfunction to memory impairment and reproductive issues.

• How about subscribing our devices

This is another question that thrive in the minds of consumers. You remember when the norm was 2G? How 10mb used to last for 24 hours? At least then, you'd see MTN selling 10mb for ₦100. But fast-forward to 2019, you'd see data plans like 1GB for ₦500. This is because of the availability of smartphones in the country.
A Nairaland even said that on 5G, you could finish your data bundle in 30 seconds. So ignoring all limitations, network providers would do anything to make money...who wouldn't anyway?At least not me, so far it's legitimate.
While talking about devices that support 5G networks, you'd see that many of them don't come cheap. At least, the Samsung’s 5G S10 variant costs almost $1000, how many Nigerians can comfortably afford a smartphone of ₦350,000?

• Cross carrier compatibility might possibly be lacking

Working with the information available on countries that have already tested 5G network you'll see that unlike 3G and 4G that have bands supported by a wide range of smartphones,5G isn't really going to give us much flexibility.
You can just switch SIM cards between devices when you want to access the internet but 5G might not just permit that, at least not easily. Carriers in the US are adopting their own personal 5G standards and I strongly believe other networks in the world might do the same.

So with these, do you think we're ready for the 5G technology? What are your opinions and the possibilities of 5G taking over the Nigerian mobile industry?
Don't forget to drop us a comment and share with your friends. Also check out our previous article on the top 5 most popular mobile phones brands in Nigeria.
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