June 15, 2024

Future goes beyond 5G – NCC boss, Maida pushes for local talents


The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has harped on the necessity of cultivating a cadre of Information and Communication Technology, ICT, experts capable of navigating the complexities of the digital era.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Aminu Maida spoke at the 2nd West Africa Communications Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, where he emphasized the imperative of nurturing local talent to effectively address the evolving demands of the technology landscape.

Maida, who was represented by Victor Adoga, Head of Next Generation Technology and Standards at NCC, stressed the significance of indigenous expertise in adapting to emerging technological paradigms.

The EVC highlighted the advent of 5G networks as a transformative milestone in communications infrastructure, underscoring the potential of 5G to deliver enhanced speeds, reduced latency, and expanded capacity, thus enabling a spectrum of innovative applications including the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and augmented reality.

“The future goes beyond 5G. Looking at 6G, one sees an increase in network capabilities and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the management of communications activities and services,” he said.

“It requires a lot of investment, both in terms of hardware and distribution.

“With the Internet of Things (IoT), everyday objects connect to the internet and collect and share information,” he added.

Maida said the 6G revolution will transform industries from agriculture to medicine, making them more efficient and improving health.

He said that this meant a significant increase in relevant equipment and changes in information management strategies for communications.

Maida also said that the backbone of a strong digital economy was the fiber optic network.

He emphasized that the expansion of fiber optic infrastructure is essential to increase internet coverage and improve internet quality in Nigeria.

Regarding information disclosure and security, he said that as digital services increase, there is a need to protect and manage the large amounts of information provided.

Maida said that strengthening information security measures and establishing local institutions will play an important role in protecting user trust and complying with global data protection regulations.

He also said that practical measures to instill these processes, such as collaboration between government, industry and universities aimed at promoting innovation and development, should also be considered.

He also noted that to delve into these trends, strategic actions such as partnerships between government, industry, and academia to drive innovation and development must be considered.

The EVC added that such collaborations could lead to sharing infrastructure models that reduced costs and improved service delivery.

He further said that developing telecoms infrastructure required capital, adding that public-private partnerships, infrastructure funds, and innovative financing models like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) could be key to meeting financial demands.

“Another thing is to build our infrastructure, and sustainability must be a priority. This includes not only environmental considerations but also building systems that are economically and socially sustainable.

“Integration with AI and machine learning to optimise network management, predict maintenance needs, and enhance customer service through automation and advanced analytics is also necessary.

“Another strategy is developing smart infrastructure, because as cities become smarter, telecom infrastructure must evolve to support an array of smart city applications, from traffic management systems to public safety solutions,” he said.

Speaking on challenges in the industry, Maida said: “Today, we boast of over 219 million mobile subscribers and a burgeoning tech-savvy population eager to harness digital technologies.

“However, while our growth has been remarkable, it has not been without its challenges.

“Issues such as uneven service distribution, infrastructural deficits, and regulatory uncertainties have occasionally hindered our progress.

“Yet, each challenge also presented a unique opportunity for growth and innovation,” he said.

Maida said that how this path was navigated would determine the role Nigeria played in the global digital landscape.





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