The world’s first 5G network was launched in 2019, yet in 2022, Nigerians seem indifferent to the fifth-generation technology.
5G Technology and Nigeria
When Nigerians talk about 5G technology, most people speak from a place of fear. Few speak about the possibilities it brings. It is evident that more information is needed on the emergence of 5G technology.
A lack of research and development in most sectors can be blamed for this misinformation and apparent lack of knowledge. Make no mistake, the fifth-generation network technology will change the way the world lives, works, and plays. Nigerians can either get ready or play catch-up.
As an emerging technology, humanity is yet to fully comprehend the variety of ways 5G technology can transform our lives. There are talks of faster download speed, low latency, greater capacity and stronger connectivity for billions of devices.
These may seem like small changes compared to 4G networks, but they’re not. 5G promises latency under 5 milliseconds and 4G has a latency of about 60ms to 98ms.
This difference in latency means quicker downloads and advancements, leading to significant changes in our lives. It reduces hindrances and challenges to innovations across industries.
5G is an enabler of digital transformation. So long as Nigeria stalls in embracing the technology, through education and an enabling environment, she is most likely to lose yet another foothold in her Giant of Africa status.
Adoption and Evolution of the 5G Network
An interesting thing about the adoption of 5G technology is that the more one learns about the technology, the more they are likely to appreciate it and look forward to it.
By educating the general public about the coming technology, industry stakeholders prepare their customers for the market upgrade. Their knowledge makes it easier to move them from better (4G) to the best (5G) when it becomes available.
As technology evolves, it has constantly provided a better way to serve users, giving them more control over their user experiences. There has also been an explosion of data, showing companies a glimpse of what is going on in the minds of their customers. 5G network technology promises to expand on these two areas of technology.
Areas of Advantage with the 5G Network
According to Deloitte, 5G is an introduction to the future that can transform businesses, industries, and societies. it also shares four sectors where changes from 5G technology will be most noticeable and useful.
In the retail industry, 5G will help the customer experience to be more personal, convenient, frictionless, quick, easy, and relevant. 4G brought some evident improvement to this sector, but with 5G technology, customers will be much more satisfied.
The manufacturing industry is a sector that Africa and Nigeria in particular can do better in. We still import most things we use, and while that is a talk for another day, learning the ways 5G can advance the industry will not be wasted knowledge. 5G will help bring out the best in manufacturing by forming a synergy between the physical and digital worlds. A significant area where 5G will help the Nigerian manufacturing sector is in the area of energy management.
The government and public services sector in Nigeria have a lot of challenges. Many citizens will undoubtedly argue that the problems do not stem from the technology used, but from the individuals in power. However, the introduction of the BVN and NIN registration proved how low the average technology know-how in Nigeria is.
Time wastage and lack of trust were two main reasons why the processes take so long a time to complete. Throw in the Permanent Voter’s Card registration and the adoption of the eNaira, and you get a clearer picture. Nigeria is a country of about 200 million people, and the need for connectivity speed, automation, and data security is not to be downplayed. 5G solves this problem.
The Healthcare sector is one of the hardest to penetrate with new technology, thanks to the fragility of life. It doesn’t help that Nigeria’s is almost deplorable. However, possibilities also abound in this sector, with the adoption of 5G network technology.
From consultations through video conferencing, robotic surgery, and patient condition tracking with real-time location tracking and delivery of data, to imaging and automated healthcare assistants. These are possibilities that 5G provides to the healthcare sector.
The Truth About 4G and 5G Expansion in Nigeria
In the results teleconference held by MTN Nigeria on August 1st 2022, the CEO, Karl Toriola, shared that steps are still in process to expand the 4G network in the country. He also revealed that 5G technology will be ready to go live this quarter.
The truth is that Nigeria is yet to experience the full possibilities of 4G technology. How then will she appreciate the coming of 5G? However, the reality still remains that the world is moving on to 5G, and whether we are ready or not, it is happening.
The best is to get prepared.
Bridging the Digital Divide
The government has the obligation to close the digital divide that the country is experiencing. However, the reality is that spreading connectivity across the nation is not an act the Nigerian government sees as necessary. This is where tech companies come in.
By educating the masses and showing them how swiftly their life can grow from the impact of 5G, companies will prepare Nigeria for the coming of 5G technology. The exponential growth of online education is one use most people can relate to and will be a strong use case for 5G adoption.
Exposing individuals to the presently available technology will prepare them for the coming generation and get them to anticipate.
The average Nigerian still sees tech as something they do not need to know about or have conversations on. Until the gap is bridged, people will keep associating 5G with the rumoured negativity instead of the proven positivity.