Windhoek, 13 April 2020 – The rise in COVID-19 related deaths and confirmed cases globally continue to send customers in search of possible causes for the appearance of the virus. One theory that has been circulating on social media is the link to 5G technology.

Telecom Namibia (TN), as the backbone ICT network infrastructure provider would like to dispel these claims and assure the public that Telecom Namibia has not implemented 5G anywhere in Namibia yet. What we have implemented so far is a network capable to deliver 2G/3G and 4G LTE services. This network is implemented countrywide and has been in operation since 2013.

TN has been evolving its network infrastructure and architecture over the years in line with global standards, trends and technological developments. TN needs to have the right technological mix at any given time to ensure that it can support current and future market demands and serve as a backbone network provider for companies to support sustainable economic growth in the country and the SADC region.

5G is an ecosystem and consists in part of the 5th generation mobile technology, with the radio access part called New Radio (NR). NR is expected to play a much bigger role than the previous generations such as 4G (design optimized to deliver fast mobile broadband internet), 3G (design optimized to deliver mobile internet) and 2G (design optimized to deliver clear digital voice and SMS texting), as expected to support existing services and also enable new vertical domains and services (enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra Reliable Low Latency Reliably Communication (URLLC) and Machine Type Communications (MTC).

The introduction of 5G is part of Telecom Namibia’s future plans, and will be done in a responsible manner, and using internationally standardized equipment and collaboration with the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN).

ICT users and the public should note that 5G is a technology that has been developed through stages over a period spanning more than 10 years. There are various international standards bodies and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations body that lays out standards followed in developing and testing of these technologies. TN follows the ITU development and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) which is an umbrella for a number of standards organizations which develop protocols for mobile telecommunications, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standards and releases and have not come across credible claims related to human health risk due to this technology deployment.

There are various studies on the effect of radio waves on human physiology. 5G will operate at a wide range of frequencies that are currently and have been in use for many years and the power levels radiated by 5G transmitter and handsets are comparable to preceding technologies that are currently in use and are observed to be nowhere near to affect the immune system.

In addition to 5G NR, the 5G ecosystem is expected to be the ultimate network converged platform which will enable the consolidation of a variety of access technologies such as Mobile (NR), satellite, fixed and WIFI onto a common platform. Telecom Namibia intends to leverage on the 5G Radio (NR) capability to elevate the mobile network to not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices. It will also deliver new levels of performance and efficiency that will empower new user experiences and connect new industries.

We assure the public that the introduction of 5G technology will be done in a responsible manner and using internationally standardised equipment. In line with approved guidelines, Telecom Namibia will engage all stakeholders before it initiates the process to roll-out 5G. This will be done in collaboration with CRAN to ensure all concerns are addressed and that the technology is implemented within the framework of the law.

Issued by:
Nomvula Kambinda
Head: Corporate Communication & Public Relations
Tel: 0612012484

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