A cross section of public health and telecommunication experts have identified various ways the fifth generation (0therwise 5G) of network technology is helping many countries to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
This came as Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said that 5G networks did not have energy to liberate electrons and cause damage to human tissues.
But experts at the virtual meeting of Nigerian institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) 5G health symposium, noted that the benefits of 5G technology far outweighed its perceived health implications.
Uwazie Kingsley, technical director, Huawei Technical Support Centre in Nigeria, disagreed that the technology could cause COVID-19 pandemic.
Kingsley, explained that the 5G network had been deployed commercially in over 30 countries as of April 6, 2020, whereas the COVID-19 confirmed cases had been established in more than 200 countries around the world.
However, he said the network had enabled and improved certain medical activities aimed at diagnosing, treating and controlling the pandemic.
He said, “During the epidemic, 5G enabled a large number of applications such as remote medicine, remote prevention and control, and remote diagnosis and treatment, and improved medical efficiency with technology.
According to him, 5G remote diagnoses improve the efficiency of medical personnel; remote treatment by remote experts helps to improve medical efficiency; and 5G mobile trolleys, which is the most popular 5G application, reduce the number of contacts by medical staff to reduce the risk of infection.
Also, , Dr Abayomi Afe, a public health physician, explained the 5G was a type of non-ionising radiations such as 2G, 3G, 3G and 4G and did not have sufficient energy to break molecular bonds.
According to him, the most common man-made sources of non-ionised radiations are electricity, telecommunications, radio and TV broadcasting antennas.
He noted that there was a standard radiation emission limit that had been set by the International Commission for Non-ionising Radiation Protection below which the radiation was considered safe for humans.
The public health expert explained that the Nigerian Communications Commission had been regularly conducting measurements of radiation emissions from base stations across the country to ensure they below the set limits.
“5G technology provides the platform for new and emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and big data to improve the way people live and work. There is no deployment of 5G in Nigeria at the moment.
“There is no iota of truth that 5G technology is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus is also spreading in places without 5G networks like Nigeria and many parts of the world that do not have 5G coverage yet,” Afe added.
He stressed that there were no scientific studies to show that electromagnetic emissions from telecoms facilities, including mobile phones, could cause health hazard to humans.
Dr Effiong Wilson, a radiologist at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, described the coronavirus disease as a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus named SARCoV-2 , a new strain of a large family of viruses called coronaviruses that could spread from person to person
According to him, large human studies are required to evaluate the effects of 5G, adding that the network was non-ionising radiation and safe for use at exposure limits set by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
Elsewhere, Nigeria Computer Society said it engaged in a technical study to assess the possible health effects of 5G technology, the relationship between 5G technology and coronavirus pandemic and any other related public concerns.
In a statement by Prof. Adesina Sodiya, president, said that the society said it found out that 5G networks did not have energy to liberate electrons and cause damage to human tissues.
He noted countries such as Iran that had no 5G network had high rate of COVID-19 infection and death.
Sodiya urged the government to “develop indigenous knowledge, content and intellectual capacity on 5G and its related technologies, risks, socio-economic value chains, health, opportunities and challenges.”
He advised the government to promote indigenous telecommunications research into biological science such as potential health implications of radiation.
ITREALMS 2020 Webinar Series: Adebayo to Demystify 5G v COVID-19
Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) has been confirmed as another speaker at the forthcoming ITREALMS Webinar as part of the 2020 Digital Rights series.
Hosted by the multiple international award-winning medium, ITREALMSOnline, on Saturday, June 6, 2020 by 11am, the event would be centred on the theme:“Role of IP in 5G v COVID-19 Debate.”
Disclosing this, Remmy Nweke, editor-in-Chief of ITREALMS, said that the webinar being hosted to commemorate the World IPv6 Day, 2020 is part of their continuous education under its digital rights series.
Engr. Adebayo, he said, is not new to the telecommunications industry and will bring his experiences to bear in demystifying the relationship of the Fifth Generation (5G) and Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
Adebayo, he disclosed would be speaking on“ALTON: 5G v COVID-19” subtheme, at the Zoom Webinar scheduled for Saturday, June 6, by 11am Nigeria time, with meeting identification as748 9663 7846 and password: 3ggKaz.
Engr. Adebayo, is a pioneer member of ALTON and currently the chairman of CNSL with over 20years’ in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in the country.
ITREALMS recalls that a collaborating organization, DigitalSENSE Africa, has been leading this forte under the aegis of the Nigeria IPv6 Roundtable in commemoration of the World Internet Protocol Version Six (IPv6) Day, every June 6; to promote the adoption of IPv6 for the products and services as well as create awareness, especially in Nigeria.
Nweke equally noted that ITREALMS collaboration with DigitalSENSE Africa on this series is deliberate consider it has been an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) accredited At-Large Structure (ALS), which brought IPv6 awareness to Nigeria since 2011.
This year’s virtual event, he said, thus, is to sustain the awareness creation around the IPv6 evolution despite the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, which course was occasioned by the depletion of the Internet Protocol version Four (IPv4), over eight years ago.
Smartphone Shipments to Plunge by 11.9% in 2020 Fueled by Ongoing COVID-19 Challenges- IDC Reports
The worldwide smartphone market is forecast to decline 11.9% year over year in 2020 with shipments totaling 1.2 billion units, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
The forecast follows the largest year-over-year decline in history in the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20).
Smartphone shipments are now expected to decline 18.2% in the first half of the year as the macroeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect consumer spending.
Global smartphone shipments are not expected to return to growth until the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21).
Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers said, “What started as a supply-side crisis has evolved into a global demand-side problem.
“Nationwide lockdowns and rising unemployment have reduced consumer confidence and reprioritized spending towards essential goods, directly impacting the uptake of smartphones in the short term.
“On the brighter side, 5G is expected to be a catalyst throughout the forecast period, which will play a vital role in worldwide smartphone market recovery in 2021.”
From a geographic standpoint, the Chinese economy will continue to be impacted by COVID-19, however signs of improvement are showing as lockdowns and supply chain disruptions have begun to ease a bit.
For the most part, factories have resumed operations and the market has opened with some travel and logistical restrictions, leading IDC to believe the China domestic market will only see a single digit decline in 2020.
In contrast, Europe has been hit hard by COVID-19, especially in severely impacted countries like Italy and Spain, which will cause a double-digit decline in the region this year.
Nonetheless, IDC expects the top vendors in the region to maintain their market shares driven by rotating strategies such as higher flagship launches and forming stronger ecommerce footprints.
Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said “China’s recovery has been impressive to say the least, especially given the initial impact of COVID-19 on the country,”
“There’s no question that challenges lie ahead for the smartphone industry and we believe the economic downturn is going to cause some fluctuation in the vendor and price-tier landscape.
“The surge in consumer spending around devices that are less mobile than smartphones (PCs, monitors, video game consoles, etc.) will undoubtedly take a share of the consumer wallet that would have been put towards smartphone upgrades and 5G.
“We believe this will result in even more aggressively priced 5G smartphones than expected prior to the pandemic.
“This could result in some share wins for the vendors that position their portfolios to capitalize on this change.”
FG Declares Telecommunications Facilities Critical Infrastructure
Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has directed Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country as federal government approves security for telecommunications infrastructure to protect them from vandalism and theft.
Pantami, in a statement, Tuesday said, the Nigerian telecommunications industry depends on a number of infrastructure that play a critical role in the smooth delivery of telecoms services.
“These are part of Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) because of the important role they play, in ensuring security and in the delivery of other essential services.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved and also directed that necessary physical protective measures be emplaced to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure deployed across the country,” he stated.
The minister noted that this will address the challenge of vandalism of Critical National Infrastructure. It will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025). He thanked president Buhari, for the timely approval.
The statement signed by Uwa Suleiman, his spokesperson, stated that, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been notified of Mr President’s directive.
“We are also working towards the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments,” he said.
The minister commends the security institutions for their commitment so far.
He stated that implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy unveiled by the President have repositioned the ICT sector.
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