The adoption of 5G technology has been projected to increase efficiencies of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and large scale industries across various verticals in Nigeria.
Mrs Onyinye Ikenna-Emeka, General Manager, Fixed Broadband, MTN Nigeria communications, said this at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) Thought Leadership Programme on Tuesday in Lagos.
Our correspondent reports that the event has the theme: “Impact of 5G on the Nigerian Economy”.
According to Ikenna-Emeka, the journey from 1G to 5G showcases humanity’s relentless pursuit of technological advancement and underscores the profound impact it has had on shaping modern society.
She stated that beyond smartphones, 5G had the potential to revolutionise many industries as it enabled advancements in fields like autonomous vehicles, remote healthcare, smart cities, virtual reality, and more.
She noted that the criticality of SMEs in driving the economy of any nation puts it in a position to benefit from any technological advancement there was to harness its potentials and increase its contributions to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“As a result, MTN prides itself in co-developing solutions such as 5G adoption to help these class of businesses achieve the needed efficiencies and effectiveness to drive their success.
“5G is very relevant to industrialisation as it digitise processes via internet of things as devices interact with each other in real time therefore playing a large role to galvanise the economy and create more opportunities.
“In today’s world, information is key, decision making needs to be effective, prompt as it can be and this can be achieved via data which 5G gives room to analyse, consume and interpret across various sectors of the economy.
“5G is a real enabler as it enables the digital ecosystem and with its various levels of industrial automation, businesses need to start to utilise these data driven solutions that engenders opportunity for competitiveness,” she said.
Ikenna-Emeka also said that the evolution of 5G would not replace job opportunities but rather create many new opportunities that required technological up-skilling.
According to her, what is important is that you have the skill necessary to be successful in a technologically dynamic environment.
“Organisations are ensuring that the skills that are adopted are relevant in a digitally advanced world.
“So, it won’t displace jobs but will create opportunities and what I will say is that humans should just continue to up-skill, re-skill and learn new things,” she said.
She also charged organisations to invest in infrastructure that guaranteed cyber security, become acute and alert to it.
According to her, 5G does not have a role on its own to play in providing for those risks.
Ikenna-Emeka reiterated MTN’s commitment to continue to expand on 5G technology coverage across the country and partner with government and other stakeholders in the technology space to drive its penetration.
She, however, stressed that challenges with vandalism of technological infrastructure must be addressed to encourage more investments in the space.
She noted that South Africa had different use cases of 5G within the mining ecosystem to ensure efficiency and digitalisation to drive their processes.
“In the case of Nigeria, we have to ensure that the environment is such that provides for the expression of these use cases that 5G technology can provide.
“The enterprise use cases require a bit more structuring by aggregating data, digitalising processes among others.
“Close to us in Nigeria is the availability of private networks to find expression in oil and gas environment, create smart cities, smart taxation, smart ticketing, smart primary health care facilities and others.
“Our job is to continue to work with government, businesses to provide the use cases that can drive the country forward,” she said.
President, NBCC, Ms Bisi Adeyemi, said the event was to provide a systematic approach to sharing new ideas and compelling solutions with NBCC members and the general public.
Adeyemi added that the theme was borne out of the need to bridge the knowledge gap and take full advantage of the opportunities that the adoption of technology presents.
She described Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa, with a young, vibrant, and tech-savvy population, and noted government’s commitment to developing the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
“5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, which promises to revolutionise the way we live and work.
“The technology brings faster internet speed, lower latency, and greater capacity, all of which will enable the deployment of new applications and spur innovation.
“The deployment of 5G technology in Nigeria is expected to create new opportunities across all sectors of the economy and today, we will be exploring the potential impact of 5G on the Nigerian economy,” she said.