The executive secretary, Africa Telecom Development Initiative, Ken Ugbechie, has advised media practitioners to help the government shed more light on the inherent benefits derivable from the 5G network, which is scheduled to take off next year.
According to Ugbechie, it is journalists’ duties, be they in print, online, or broadcasting, to inform, educate, entertain, set agenda, influence, interpret, predict and persuade their audience.
Ahead of the anticipated January 2022 5G rollout, the ICT expert is of the view that the media should be buzzing with explainers and analyses on how 5G will impact agriculture, ecommerce, e-banking, ICT, education, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, security, entertainment including the music and movie industries and other aspects of digital Nigeria.
Ugbechie gave the advice while making a presentation on the topic: “Role of the media in the Deployment of 5G in Nigeria” at a one-day media capacity-building workshop tagged “5G Technology and The Next Level of Nigeria’s Development”.
The workshop was organised for journalists by the Commission and The Cable Newspaper in Lagos.
He said it is only when journalists play their roles that people can understand and appreciate that what has been created as 5G is neither an enemy nor a monster, but a carefully innovated partner for development.
Amongst its predecessors, Ugbechie noted that 5G is the most controversial because it can do what others (from 1G to 4G) cannot do with a far bigger capacity to do more.
“That is why 5G is different things to different people,” he said.
Emphasising on the benefits of 5G network, Ugbechie said that 5G comes with multiple benefits being of higher data rate and provides a much faster Internet speed, ten times faster than 4G.
He said, “It has lower latency (time it takes for data to be transferred from its original source to its destination); and it has larger capacity which makes it possible to connect to more end devices (IoT) with capacity to handle a maximum of 1 million devices per square kilometres.”
Ugbechie, who is also the publisher of Political Economist, observed that this evolution is necessary to show journalists that techies are not sleeping.
“They are not static. They are constantly inventing and re-inventing. The ICT matrix and in fact the entire tech ecosystem is upping the ante in trends and trademarks,” Ugbechie stated.
Ugbechie opined that overtime, Nigerian media has restrained itself from moving with the conspiracy theory bandwagon, a situation that has restricted the conspiracy theorists to social media platforms.
“Reassure our audiences that if 1G did not give them malaria, 2G did not birth diarrhea, 3G did not produce pneumonia or 4G HIV there is no way 5G could be the causative agent of coronavirus, cancer or autism.
“But I must admit that the Nigerian media has not done enough to disabuse the mind of sceptics that there is no relationship between 5G and Covid-19. This surely underscores how not-very-important the media rates this misplaced theory. Yet, it bears restating that conspiracy theorists have been unrelenting in pushing across their baseless and unfounded falsehood,” he added.
He commended NCC, noting that the Commission has became a benchmark for regulatory excellence in Africa.
According to him, that practice subsists till this day because the Commission has maintained the highest level of corporate governance in its regulatory duties.
Kabir Olanrewaju Ishowo is a Kwara-Born, a community developer, An Online Media Practioner and the CEO/Publisher of Gistmeblog247.