Smart Nigeria Requires 80,000 Base Stations to Succeed

Global communications

THE desire for Nigeria to join nations of the world that are currently flying the Internet of Things (IoT) kite may only be realistic if it is able to increase the capacity of its telecommunication base stations by about 70,000 to 80,000.
Its absence may also affect the ability to leverage on 4G and 5g networks potentials, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, disclosed at a sitting of the House Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee investigating the health implications of mounting telecommunications masts close to building.
According to him, the country currently has less than 50,000 base stations noting that “the 3G, 4G, and 5G networks are going to usher the country into smart applications, the Internet of Things or the smart world and cities we are talking about. 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”
He added: “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.”
Danbatta called on other approving government agencies to synergise with the Commission to achieve the target, saying that the United Kingdom (UK), with a population of almost one third of Nigeria already has close to 60,000 masts.
The helmsman of the NCC who also spoke on concerns about health implications exposure to electromagnetic field, 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. 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,” he explained.

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