Communications regulator sets record straight on 5G
Following the circulation of information on social media linking the spread of Covid-19 to the deployment of 5G networks, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia decided to set the record straight on the issue.
Jochen Traut, acting Chief Executive of the regulatory authority said they have not, to date, awarded any spectrum licences for the deployment of 5G to any of the four operators providing mobile services in Namibia – MTC, MTN, Paratus Telecommunications and Telecom Namibia.
Traut emphasised that the operators are currently only providing 2G, 3G and 4G, noting that although the 3500 MHz spectrum band is allocated for information management technology, it is not yet utilised for 5G as Telecom Namibia Limited is still using this band for fixed services (Wimax) and MTN is using this band for TDD-LTE (4G).
“To date, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia is not aware of any proven correlation between 5G and the Covid-19 pandemic. As an independent and responsible regulator, the nature and operations of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia will at all times ensure the public health and safety of all consumers of ICT products and services,” Traut said.
According to Traut, the International Telecommunications Union, of which Namibia is a member, discussed during the World Radio Conference held in November 2019, the allocation of radio spectrum for 5G. The discussions were based on intensive technical studies conducted by the International Telecommunications Union and considred various aspects including power limits, emission standards and other factors.
The conference resolved that in order to allocate some frequency bands for the utilisation of 5G, member countries, including Namibia must review their frequency band plans to assign these frequencies on a national level.
The regulatory authority further said that the Namibian policy and regulatory framework is prepared for the deployment of 5G, however, the future deployment of 5G will be considered with stringent adherence to international standards and regulations to find a balance between the roll-out of new and reliable communications services, public health and the protection of the environment.