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No cause for alarm over 5G; Africa needs massive deployment of infrastructure, says Aderemi Adeyeye

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Enext wireless, Emetrics Report
Chairman, Enext Wireless Inc., Aderemi Adeyeye
  • As Enext Wireless pledges support to NCC, operators on improving QoS

BY: Justice Okamgba

Over the years, there has been a remarkable improvement and steady growth of mobile network performance in the Nigerian telecom industry.

This growth in the sector stems from the deployment of the 2G network, 3G Network, and the 4G LTE which presently has substantially increased coverage in major commercial cities in Nigeria.

The four major mobile operators (Airtel, MTN, 9mobile, and Glo) have made efforts to ensure that the quality of their LTE coverage is improved despite intolerable packet latency continues to be a major impediment to satisfactory internet connectivity experience.

Again, telcos are yet to massively deploy the 4G LTE in Nigeria due to an avalanche of difficulties such as the capacity to deploy fiber infrastructure at a larger scale, multiple taxes, and the issues around Right of Way (RoW) by the government.

With all these underlying challenges in the telecom sector, some companies in the diaspora have built and deployed 5G technology which is 10 to 20 times faster than 4G — realistically between 100 and 200 Mbit/sec.

Realistically, the Nigerian Communications Commission has not issued any telecom operator with a license for 5G deployment. NCC only granted MTN Nigeria a special 5G spectrum (millimeter wave) license for a trial of 5G in November 2019.

Experts say most or all high-end smartphones should support 5G by 2022. Most smartphone users in the industrialized world will probably have 5G phones by 2025.

However, there have been fears that smartphones that are not 5G enabled would be entirely useless if the network is finally deployed in Nigeria.

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However, “most smartphones we use today are 2G, 3G, and 4G enabled. So, 5G will be an addition to the range. There is no need to panic, the Chairman, Enext Wireless Incorporated, Aderemi Adeyeye, told TechEconomy in a live chat on Instagram.

ADEREMI ADEYEYE 

Aderemi Adeyeye had a proven track record of implementing methodologies and algorithms for mobile wireless communications deployment while working at Alcatel-Lucent Technologies. He led the development and deployment of a data communication system for the Public Broadcast Service. 

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In his capacity as a subject matter expert, Adeyeye successfully directed projects for the deployment of LTE networks for AT&T in NY City. He was a leader of LTE deployment for Verizon Wireless and Sprint as a member of technical staff for Alcatel-Lucent.

His telecommunications work experience also include support for data communication services at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland and the deployment of data communication link for train control for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Adeyeye has employed his extensive knowledge of performance analysis of mobile networks in the United States, from the core to the air interface, to design methods of making visibility  of the quality of mobile broadband networks available to network operators, regulators and the general public in Nigeria.

He is a long-term member of the IEEE. He shares a patent with two colleagues in forward error correction coding for data transmission in the unused portion of the North American television signal (NTSC). 

Adeyeye holds BSEE and BS Math degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA.

The engineer who spoke on “Mobile Network Performance and 5G Application” said 5G will combine the efforts in 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G to achieve maximum speed for end users.

According to Adeyeye, the massive deployment of 5G network in Nigeria will provide faster speeds and better connectivity, however, remains a mere dream as Africa’s most populous nation remains unready at the moment.

Although, the available 4G LTE networks are more than fast enough for all the video and music streaming you want to do on your phone. However, 5G will offer faster [connectivity] speeds.

5G should have much lower latency — from around 20 milliseconds for today’s networks to about 1 millisecond with 5G — so everything in the cloud will be more responsive and video calls will be a lot better.

“5G will unleash new business models and enable economic growth. It will empower IoT, telemedicine, driverless cars, smart transportation, smart cities, etc.”

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With the current 4G LTE connection which is only about 10 percent in terms of coverage, it takes about six minutes to download a two-hour movie. On a 5G network, that same movie could be downloaded in 3.6 seconds.

There are a whole lot of work that needs to be done and that puts Africa’s most populous nation in the list of many developing countries who are not ready for 5G, Aderemi said.

According to the Enexgen Wireless boss, Nigeria’s industry regulator, telecom operators and other critical stakeholders must synergize to ensure that 5G network is massively deployed even though it’s apparently going to take some time.

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