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5G Network in Nigeria: All You Need to Know

You might have listened to some of the audio messages and watched the videos, or come across a number of the articles — according to the most popular version of these 5G conspiracy theories, your government is installing killer 5G masts in a series of clandestine operations in your city.

They’re supposedly carrying out the installation behind your back as they know fully well that 5G kills, allegedly making people drop dead suddenly, and the government doesn’t want any resistance from you.

This interesting theory also claims that your government is utilizing the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, as a cover-up to ensure you stay at home while they install the killer 5G network.  

How true are these claims? Is 5G radiation dangerous as many people believe? Does 5G cause coronavirus? What is 5G network in Nigeria? In this comprehensive guide, we discuss what 5G technology is all about in detail, along with its presence in this country, and the scientific merits of these claims.

What Is 5G Network?

5G is a term that describes fifth-gen wireless communications technologies, which support cellular data networks. It’s fundamentally an upgrade from 4G, the more common network.

5G is designed to enhance connection between people and also between machines, objects, as well as devices. It aids advancements in emerging technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and others.

5G Network

How Is 5G Different from Other ‘Gs’?

The “G” that normally accompanies cellular networks represents “generation” as you might have guessed. 5G is built for expanding the capacity for mobile networks, more than 4G and other former generations could do. These expansions in capacity make it possible for more devices to make use of the network than it was ever possible.

2G, Verizon explains, offers a maximum speed of around 50kbps (kilobytes per sec), allowing simple activities such as calls, SMS & MMS. 3G networks, when stationary, attain up to 2mbps (megabytes per sec).

The current standard, 4G, is 500 times faster than 3G and also has support for more advanced operations, such as HD video streaming as well as video conferencing with speeds reaching up to hundreds of Mbps.

5G primarily differs from every one of the previous generations due to its peak capacity and reduced latency. Latency is the time between when info is sent from your device until it’s utilized by a receiver.

Is 5G Radiation Dangerous?

In 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, “how dangerous is 5G radiation?” has emerged as the million-dollar question. To shed light on this issue, we looked to government agencies and experts in Physics and Network Engineering.

According to Professor I.P. Farai of Physics Department, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, “Communication networks of whatever G, for now, and in the near future, are generally in frequency of the order of GigaHertz (GHz or 109 Hz) … Meanwhile, the bulk of energy from the sun (solar radiation) is in the UV frequency range (i.e. 1015 Hz).

“Now I ask, how can mankind, who has been bathing under the shower of UV radiation from the sun over the ages, now be under any threat of a radiation of energy over 1 million times less energy than UV radiation?”

One of the major breakthroughs of 5G is harnessing millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum to bring about faster data speeds. However, some people have expressed concerns that this very high-frequency spectrum poses adverse health effects for the public.

Looking back over the years, these types of concerns are not new. Consumer anxiety as regards whether radiofrequency (RF) radiation can aggravate the risk of cancerous tumors has been present for some time now.

The Food and Drug Association (FDA), a government agency responsible for protecting public health by controlling and supervising food & medicine and electromagnetic (EM) radiation emitting devices, has weighed in on this issue.

According to the FDA, RF radiation “is one form of electromagnetic energy which consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (radiating) through space.” It’s just another name for radio waves. 

Radiation, at a basic level, is not an intimidating term as it might appear. It’s the emission of energy from any source. This implies that even the heat, which comes off our bodies, is also a radiation.

Generally, radio waves can either be ionizing or non-ionizing. As for ionizing type, they are ultra-high-frequency radio waves, such as gamma rays, which could cause damage to your DNA, eventually resulting in tumors and cancer.

On the other hand, non-ionizing radio waves cannot produce that effect. Moreover, the radio waves applied in wireless technologies, such as 5G, are not even close to the line separating ionizing from non-ionizing waves.

How Safe Is RF Radiation?

Cellphones emit radiation that is at the low-energy end of the EM spectrum, which makes the radiation much safer than high-energy radiation, such as X-rays & gamma rays. RF radiation does not give off ionizing radiation, while X-rays and gammy rays do, so they have enough energy for ionizing an atom or molecule, thereby damaging cell DNA and leading to cancer.

RF radiation only possesses enough energy for moving or vibrating atoms in a molecule, not enough for ionizing it. Though this implies RF radiation does not lead to cancer by damaging DNA cells, studies are still in progress as regards the effects of non-ionizing radiation.

In its 2018 statements, the FDA maintained that it feels “the current safety limits for cellphone radiofrequency energy exposure remain acceptable for protecting the public health.”

Furthermore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) haven’t also officially categorized radiofrequency radiation as cancer-causing.

For now, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has categorized RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” as a result of the discovery of a possible correlation in at least a study between use of cellphones & a specific kind of brain tumor. But the IARC says the overall evidence is “limited.”

Will 5G Surpass Safety Limits for Human Health?

The FDA says that that, as of now, it “continues to believe that the current safety limits for cellphone radiofrequency energy exposure remain acceptable for protecting the public health.

“The limits are based on the frequency of the device, meaning that 5G has a different limit than other technologies. As part of our commitment to protecting the public health, the FDA has reviewed, and will continue to review, many sources of scientific and medical evidence related to the possibility of adverse health effects from radiofrequency energy exposure in both humans and animals and will continue to do so as new scientific data are published.”

It’s equally essential to bear in mind that nearly all frequencies being utilized for 5G have been in use in the past for other things, such as in TV broadcasts and other data transmissions. Due to this, if 5G is not safe, it simply means we have been making use of “unsafe” frequencies for decades.

But since we have not observed any rise in cancer rates, it becomes clear these radio waves do not have an adverse effect on human health.

Do 5G Radio Waves Cause Coronavirus in Nigeria Or Elsewhere?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses, which cause respiratory diseases. They’ve been existing for as far back as 1965.

The most recent known member of the coronavirus family is COVID-19, with other members including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that broke out in 2002 in China, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia.

Thus, strictly speaking, COVID-19, which is the novel coronavirus the world is dealing with now, is just one of a family.

Additionally, coronaviruses are named “corona” due to the fact that their membranes are packed with spike-like proteins, giving them the appearance of a crown.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, which is a contagion that spreads rapidly through entry into the human body via openings in the eyes, mouth & nose. That’s why health experts advise you not to touch your face without thoroughly washing your hands with soap & running water.

Owing to the recent development, where misleading materials that have no proven evidence, are circulated on social media, linking COVID-19 with 5G technology, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has waded in by giving these clarifications:

“Firstly, there is no correlation between 5G Technology and COVID-19. 5G is an advancement on today’s 4G technology, designed to transform the world positively.

“Secondly, there is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment. The NCC back in November 2019 approved trial test for 5G for a period of three (3) months, and the trial has been concluded and installation decommissioned.

“The trial among others was to study and observe any health or security challenges the 5G network might present. Relevant stakeholders including members of the security agencies were invited to participate during the trial.

“The NCC will continue to maintain its policy of technology neutrality and will continue to encourage Service Providers to deploy the best technology that will meet the needs of the society in a secured and friendly manner.”

Has 5G Radiation Killed People?

There’s no record of anyone that has died due to 5G radiation. Not a single death has occurred, whether in South Korea, in which there were already more than a million 5G subscribers by mid-2019 or in China, the US, or the UK, or any other countries.

There are people, resident in the US, who have been making use of 5G service. And we have them in the UK as well. All of them are hale and hearty.

That means 5G radiation is safe. Though it’s true a city-wide 5G network was established in Wuhan in China, it is bogus to claim that it’s the radiation that caused COVID- 19. Specifically, 5G networks in China utilize some of the same sub-6 GHz frequencies, which existing 4G networks have been using for years.

But those 4G networks didn’t cause coronavirus outbreak back then and have been working with the same radio frequencies.

Cities across Asia, Europe, and North America have been using active 5G networks for some time now. For instance, in Switzerland, Swisscom deployed Europe’s 1st large-scale commercial 5G network back in April 2019.

About 2 months after this period, South Korea already had more than 1 million subscribers on its 5G network, yet the country has one of the lowest coronavirus deaths in the world. However, a country such as Iran with no 5G networks, is badly hit with the pandemic.

In fact, 5G connectivity proved useful in China’s fighting against the novel coronavirus in Wuhan. A 5G network was deployed in the Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital, which is a one thousand-bed emergency field hospital built from scratch within January–February 2020 in only ten days and is devoted to administering treatment to COVID-19 patients.

The installed 5G network helps power the teleconsulting activities of the hospital, in addition to other vital services. According to reports, the country has successfully contained the novel coronavirus without having to switch off their 5G networks. If it’s true that 5G was the cause of the deadly virus, the first step they would have taken was switching off their 5G networks, not installing the network in the COVID-19 hospital.

Have 5G Satellites Killed People?

You might have also read another brand of 5G conspiracy theory that claims 5G satellite is killing people. That’s another bogus claim, which is only a figment of people’s wild imaginations.

No 5G satellites are killing anyone. The EM emissions from any telecommunications satellites, which are orbiting the earth, do not constitute any harm.

In a Nutshell

While we have a number of 5G conspiracy theories claiming all sorts of things about 5G and the novel coronavirus, there is no available evidence supporting these insinuations. According to experts and government agencies both in Nigeria and beyond, 5G doesn’t cause COVID-19 nor does it constitute any harm to users.

5G radio waves emit radiation, which lies at the low-energy end of the EM spectrum, making the radiation much safer than high-energy radiation, such as X-rays & gamma rays. Also, RF radiation doesn’t emit ionizing radiation.

According to the NCC, so far, there’s no deployment of 5G networks in Nigeria. Back in November 2019, the Nigerian government approved trial test for 5G for a 3-month period. The trial has been completed and installation decommissioned.

According to the body of currently available evidence, 5G network in Nigeria is harmless. Thus, you can be at peace. However, consider following the recommended tips by the WHO and health experts to stay safe from the coronavirus.

Please, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer and stay at home.

Tijani Mustapha
Tijani Mustapha
Tijani Mustapha Adedeji is a Senior Tech Writer on Phonecorridor. He has a strong flair for gadgets and tech-related developments around the globe. Deji, based in Lagos, Nigeria, is an avid reader, who loves meeting people.


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