The Kenya ICT Action Network in partnership with Huawei hosted a 90-minute interactive webinar on 5G.
The Webinar was themed 5G Myths, Realities and Opportunities focused on debunking dangerous conspiracy theories circulating on social media while providing insight into what the fifth-generation wireless technology means, the impact it will have on our lives and the opportunities it will bring to Kenya.
Moderated by Ali Hussein CEO of Kipochi, the expert panel emphasized 5G has no correlation to Covid-19 and discussed digital opportunities in the Era of Covid-19 on the industry, particularly in health care while qualifying basic terminologies and the historical development and industry standards related to 5G.
John Walubengo, a Lecturer at Multimedia University introduced 5G explaining that: “As a user, you will experience better download and upload speeds. In terms of smart meters, instead of sending individuals to come to your house to read a meter, millions of smart meters can report back to the central network on their own.”
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The specialist panel included National Communications Secretary CEO Daniel Obam, who is a spectrum expert clarified some of the myths around 5G: “the World Health Organisation has conclusive evidence that mobile phones do not cause any harm; 5G uses non-ionizing radiation that is not dangerous. The radio waves from 5G are tiny and they are nowhere strong enough to affect the immune system. They are less powerful even than visible light”.
Adam Lane, Deputy CEO, Huawei Kenya explained that: “Many countries have developed 5G national strategies; indeed it is becoming a cornerstone of national development strategies. The contributions estimated by different countries are quite staggering and some countries have even analyzed how much greater the benefits would be from a quick roll-out compared to a slow roll-out.”
Dr Bello Moussa, Huawei Senior Director of Innovation and ICT Strategies delved further noting that “Huawei is a global leader in deploying 5G networks for mobile communication companies” and emphasized the tremendous opportunities for 5G to connect homes and businesses with fibre-like speeds, in various uses within hospitals particularly during COVID-19 when you don’t want human contact, as well as various industries such as tourism and sports.
Communications Authority AgManager for frequency planning Ann Kinyanjuigave an overview of the regulatory perspectives on 5G noting that the CA is looking at different licensing methodologies, the amount of bandwidth to be offered to operators and frequency spectrum allocations. She reiterated that the CA will continue participating in future 5G studies and work with relevant stakeholders to develop strategies for 5G that will be beneficial to Kenya.
Fifth-generation wireless technology will result in a tremendous increase in data speeds, lower latencies, and the capacity to carry large numbers of connections simultaneously; changing how people interact with the internet and inspiring innovation and new services.
Leveraging 5G will require a change in mindsets. Organizations and people that will embrace the change faster will gain a competitive advantage over those that will not