Nigeria can gain the prime status of being a smart country with an additional 30,000 telecommunication base stations, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.
If the target is realised, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said on Thursday in Lagos that it would league Nigeria with countries working toward making Internet of Things (IoT) a reality.
Danbatta said that IoT could be realised by leveraging on fourth generation (4G) and 5G networks.
He said that 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 telecommunications 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 is needed to deploy 4G going to 5G,” he said.
Danbatta called on approving agencies at all levels of government in the country to synergise with NCC with a view to achieving the 80,000 target.
He said that the United Kingdom, with a population of almost one third of Nigeria already has close to 60,000 masts.
On concerns about health implications to exposure to electromagnetic field, Danbatta said that researches so far conducted in the area had not indicated any adverse health concerns.
“With regards to other professional bodies like Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), we don’t have any quarrel with their positions.
“The only question is when we say exposure to electromagnetic field is hazardous to health, what level are we talking about.
“We have to define the level of exposure that is hazardous to human beings.
“Of course, if you generate a massive electromagnetic field of unprecedented proportion and put a person inside, there will be medical consequences.
“But what we are saying is that provided the limit specified is observed and NCC is there to ensure compliance with that limit, there is no health hazard,” he said.
According to him, there is a limit of safety below which electromagnetic fields do not cause any harm to health.