A lot of Nigerians are not aware or may have forgotten that MTN Nigeria had successfully conducted a 5G network trial in Nigeria following a successful one in South Africa.
The Telco giant may have carried out the demo without license since The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on Saturday disclosed that no licence has been issued for Fifth Generation Mobile Networks popularly known as 5G in Nigeria.
Recently, opinions from several persons, professionals in the field of Information Technology, celebrities and clerics on the effects of 5G network is gradually making a lot of people around the world to believe a theoretical conspiracy which blames the lunch of 5G network as the cause of Covid-19 pandemic across the world.
These theoretical conspiracies linking Covid-19 virus and 5G network have been more prominent in The United Kingdom, United State of America and some Asian countries. The conspiracies led to a revolt against British 5G towers and a lot of them are being set on fire because of coronavirus conspiracy theories.
Former Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye and Pastor Chris Oyahkilome are part of the public figures who have made these conspiracies spread in Nigeria. Dino Melaye described 5G network as evil, stated that it kills the immune system, affects the respiratory system, causes cancer and hypertension and indirectly causing the deaths of Coronavirus patients. He also claims there are 5G masts in Abuja and Ikeja in Lagos State.
In the wake of these conspiracies and the debunk of issuance of 5G network licence by FG, the announcement made by MTN Nigeria, dated November 28, 2019, claiming to be the first in Nigeria and the whole West Africa to conduct a trial of the 5G technology is being circulated on social media. See the public announcement below;
Initiation was before 2019/2020.
In 2018, during a ₦200 billion loan facility signing by MTN Nigeria, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Adekunle Awobodu pointed out the possibility of conducting a 5G network trial.
True to his words, MTN commenced its 5G network trial in Abuja, Nigeria on Monday November 25, 2019, a first for any country in West Africa. The Telco Giant also revealed that their trial will go beyond Abuja, promised to conduct network trials in two other locations in Nigeria: Calabar and Lagos. The network testing in Abuja was powered by Huawei. Calabar and Lagos are powered by ZTE and Ericsson respectively.
Speaking during the trial in Abuja, former Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Vice Chairman, Ernest Ndukwe — who is also a board member of MTN Nigeria — expressed his delight in the fact that Nigeria is one of the countries championing 5G trial on the continent