While 5G rollout is imminent or underway in countries as diverse as South Africa, the Philippines and Morocco, some countries are not in a hurry – the most recent examples being Paraguay and Nigeria.
Developing Telecoms, a leading online news portal for the telecom sector in emerging markets globally, quoted Juan Carlos Duarte, who runs Paraguay’s National Telecommunications Commission, as saying that there will be no tender for 5G mobile licences in the country until 2024 at the earliest.
It’s not entirely clear why he was so definite about this, but his comments followed the setting on fire of a cell tower by residents in Villarrica, a city in southern Paraguay.
This sort of incident is not unusual at the moment, as conspiracy theories linking 5G rollouts to the recent coronavirus pandemic are circulating widely on social media and inspiring similar acts in other countries.
However, there seems to have been no statement connecting the 5G delay to this incident.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced that it is developing a policy for the deployment of 5G technology in the country, though no dates have been given for rollout, despite successful 5G trials in cooperation with MTN Nigeria in six areas in November last year.
The tests involved different equipment vendors and spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 26GHz bands. As well as performance, the tests aimed to ensure compliance with health and safety guidelines.
With these tests now over, the NCC has begun work on a deployment policy, noting that 5G will not be deployed until the policy is concluded and approved. A public consultation with relevant stakeholders, including government and private sector representatives, will follow.