• Tony Igele

Nigeria needs 80,000 masts to join the ‘smart world’

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says between 70,000 and 80,000 transceiver masts are needed for effective service delivery.

Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the commission, said this on Thursday when he appeared before an ad hoc committee of the house representatives.

Danbatta said the provision of those equipment will enable Nigeria actualise its dream of joining the club of countries enjoying 4G and 5G networks.

He said UK, with a population of almost one third of Nigeria already has close to 60,000 masts.

“3G, 4G going to 5G networks are going to usher this country into smart applications, the Internet of Things or the smart world and cities we are talking about,” he said.

“And of course because of the additional burden on infrastructure, the present capacity of telecom infrastructure is grossly inadequate to cater for these additional platforms or services we talk about.

“Therefore, we will need from 70,000 to 80,000 base transceiver masts to be able to provide the effective capacity that’s needed to deploy 4G going to 5G.”

He called on approving agencies at all levels of government in the country to synergise with NCC to achieve its target.

On concerns about health implications to exposure to electromagnetic field, Danbatta said researches so far conducted in the area have not indicated any adverse health concerns.

“With regards to other professional bodies like Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) we don’t have any quarrel with their positions,” he said.

“The only question is when we say exposure to electromagnetic field is hazardous to health what level are we talking about? We have to define the level of exposure that is hazardous to human beings.

“Of course if you generate a massive electromagnetic field of unprecedented proportion and put a person inside, there will be medical consequences. But what we are saying is that: provided the limit specified is observed and NCC is there to ensure compliance with that limit, there is no health hazard. There is a limit of safety below which electromagnetic fields do not cause any harm to health.”


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