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Misconceptions, resistance threaten Nigeria’s 80,000 base stations target

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Nigeria’s 80,000 base stations

The Nigerian Communications Commission is worried over misconceptions and resistance by some communities regarding installation of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS).

TechEconomy.ng recall the Commission said earlier in the year that the country needs at least seventy thousand to eighty thousand telecommunication base stations to actualize her dream of joining the club of countries working toward making Internet of Things (IoT) a reality by leveraging 4G and 5Gnetworks.

In May 2017, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, was invited by the House Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee investigating the health implications of mounting telecommunications masts close to building, in Abuja; he said the country currently has less than 50,000 base stations.

“3G, 4G going to 5G networks are going to usher this 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’

“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,” he said while responding to questions from members of the ad hoc committee.

Similarly, the Commission’s Zonal Controller in Kano, Adamu Amshi, speaking at the the consumers’ forum organised by NCC in Yola, said: “One critical issue that is at the heart of improvement of quality of service is the pervasiveness of Base Transceiver BTS across the country.

“Yet its installation in communities is out rightly resisted by neighbourhood due to misconceptions and fears of harmful electromagnetic radiation emissions from these BTS.”

According to him, the World Health Organisation and International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and other relevant organisations have over the years carried out extensive researches on the alleged harmfulness.

Amshi said that the outcome of the researches reports were published and had not attributed any casual link between emissions from telecom towers and terminal illness such as cancer and other body organ failures.

He said that the emissions from the BTS antennas were no more than the ones emitted by the television and radio sets found in almost every household in Nigeria.

Amshi announced that the commission conducts regular measurements of Electro-magnetic Force on BTS across the country.

He said that the results obtained from these measurements revealed that measured radiation levels were far below the permissible level set by the international commission for non ionizing radiation protection.

He said that the commission would continue to sensitise the general public about the issue.