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Measures Are In Place To Ensure Safety Of 5G Operation – NCC

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Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reassured the public of the safety of 5G operation in the country.

Gatekeepers News reports that Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCC, Umar Danbatta, has promised that the agency would put measures in place to ensure Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of 5G services with other services.

In December, MTN Nigeria and Mafab Communications Limited were awarded the slots for the 5G licence.

Danbatta, while congratulating the two companies, said the country was ready to commit to technological developments.

He had said, “It is my pleasure to announce that at the end of the auction, Mafab Communications Limited and MTN Communications Nigeria Limited emerged as provisional licence winners.”

Danbatta’s reassurance of the 5G operation comes amid the raging controversy of the effect of the services on aviation safety in some parts of the world.

On Monday, Gatekeepers News reported that the Chief Executives of Major US passenger and Cargo Carriers warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis in less than 36 hours when AT&T and Verizon deploy new 5G service.

The airlines warned that the new C-Band 5G service set to begin on Wednesday could render a significant number of widebody aircraft unusable, “could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas” and cause “chaos” for US flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had also warned that potential interference could affect sensitive airplane instruments such as altimeters and significantly hamper low-visibility operations.

Plane maker Boeing said on Monday “With the proposed restrictions at selected airports, the transportation industry is preparing for some service disruption. We are optimistic that we can work across industries and with the government to finalize solutions that safely mitigate as many schedule impacts as possible.”

Action is urgent, the airlines added in the letter also signed by UPS Airlines, Alaska Air, Atlas Air, JetBlue Airways and FedEx Express.

The letter read, “To be blunt, the nation’s commerce will grind to a halt.” It was sent to White House National Economic Council Director, Brian Deese; Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg; FAA Administrator, Steve Dickson; and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairperson, Jessica Rosenworcel.

In reaction to the letter, Danbatta said, “Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) to other services that may arise from the rollout of 5G services is a source of concern to the global telecommunications community, including Nigeria.

“We are (the NCC) studying the situation closely and would put measures in place, consistent with global best practice, to ensure Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of 5G services with other services.”

Precedence has been There is precedence elsewhere in Europe, where

Following years of international discussions, the European Union set standards for mid-range 5G frequencies in the 3.4-3.8 GHz range in 2019.

Meanwhile, they have been auctioned and taken into use in many of the bloc’s 27 member states and no issue has been recorded so far.

Last month, The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which oversees 31 states, said the latest discussion was specific to US airspace. It said, “At this stage, no risk of unsafe interference has been identified in Europe.”

However, AT&T and Verizon Communications on Tuesday agreed to temporarily defer turning on some wireless towers near key airports to avert significant disruption to US flights as they roll out 5G service.

In reaction to this, President Joe Biden applauded the agreement, saying it “will avoid potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations, and our economic recovery while allowing more than 90% of wireless tower deployment to occur as scheduled.”

Despite this, airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration has warned that new restrictions as a result of 5G service, which Verizon and AT&T are to launch on Wednesday. According to FAA, it would still prompt some flight disruptions, Delta Air Lines added that while the wireless moves were a positive development, “some flight restrictions may remain.”

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